Support videos for military children marks major milestone
January 19, 2010
- February will mark the distribution of 200,000 copies of the videos through Military OneSource
Even from his desk in Diyala Province, Iraq, Madigan Army Medical Center pediatrician Maj. (Dr.) Keith Lemmon is keeping a strong watch on a video program he helped develop to support children of deployed service members.
That's because February will mark the distribution of 200,000 copies of the videos through Military OneSource, who receives between 5,500 and 6,500 requests for the program each month. The videos are delivered to Families, Family Readiness Groups, community support organizations and school districts, and Military OneSource covers all shipping costs. Distribution of the videos began in 2008.
"The videos are being used to provide direct support to military children as well as to provide training to youth serving professionals who want to learn more about the unique culture and needs of military children," Lemmon said.
The program consists of two videos. The first video, entitled "Military Youth Coping With Separation: When Family Members Deploy," is designed for older children and teenagers.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics Web site, the video program utilizes the cutting edge concepts of psychoeducation and youth centeredness in order to emphasize prevention and resilience whenever possible.
The second video, called "Mr. Poe and Friends Discuss Family Reunion After Deployment," is aimed at elementary school-aged children. Lemmon states the goal of both videos is to help decrease feelings of stigma and isolation in military children while educating the community about military child and adolescent culture and needs.
"Another goal is to reduce the anxiety and fear surrounding deployments, and let children know they are not alone in the struggles their Families are facing," Lemmon said.
Lemmon utilizes the video program in Iraq as well. About 45 percent of the patients he has treated have children, and he has offered those Soldiers a copy of the program. He encourages them to watch the videos first to gain an understanding of how their children might feel in response to the deployment.
Lemmon then suggests that the Soldiers send the program home for the at-home spouse or caregiver to watch with the children.
"It's a way to remain connected and share the emotional experience of deployment with each other," Lemmon said.
According to Lemmon, the program has been requested by Families and agencies from every state in the country, plus Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and multiple foreign countries via APO and FPO addresses.
A copy of the program can be ordered online at www.militaryonesource.com or by calling (800) 342-9647.
The program can also be viewed online in its entirety at the American Academy of Pediatrics Military Youth Deployment Support Web site at www.aap.org/sections/uniformedservices/deployment/videos.html.