Approximately 2.6 million service members have been deployed and 2 million children in the U.S. have lived through a parent's deployment in support of Post 9/11 conflicts. As service members begin their reintegration process, many are confronted with mental health issues. Approximately 20 percent or 300,000 of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression according to a recently released Rand Corporation study. (1)

Today it is estimated that some 40% of veterans will use community, non-VA settings for their health care (2). In a recent study, conducted by RAND, aimed to assess the readiness of those mental health providers working in community settings, it was found that only 13% of providers met the threshold to deliver cultural competence and evidence-based care to our returning veterans, service members and families (3). It is essential that clinicians be aware of the challenges facing those who are returning home and the re-integration issues that affect military families.

The post-deployment reintegration phase also brings disruption to the family re-organization and equilibrium achieved during the military parent's 8-12 month absence, raising the unique challenges of re-establishing the family unit, its routine and relationships following deployment. These challenges are magnified when the parent returns home with PTSD or TBI.

The impact of PTSD and/or TBI on military families and relationships is often overlooked. The invisible wounds of war can impair communication, increase family conflict and risk for divorce, impair parenting and decrease intimacy. It is imperative that clinicians not only treat veterans but address the needs of military family members as well.

The military family course will be an on line, multi-session course with the MGH Academy. All courses will be available on line, on-demand, and will be offered free of charge for CEs and CEUs. This course will have a one hour lecture each week, for four weeks and include weekly assignments, access to faculty each week for questions and discussion of materials and their translation into practice.

This course is generously funded by the Cohen Veteran's Network

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Learning Objectives

  • Describe the Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC) and how it is being used in diverse child mental health, health, and educational settings
  • Explain how to conduct behavioral health screening using the PSC
  • Discuss how to respond to positive screens on the PSC
  • Define internalizing disorders in children and adolescents and the prevalence.
  • Describe the symptoms that comprise the internalizing disorders; mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and obsessive- compulsive disorder in children and adolescents.
  • Describe the evidence-based treatments for the internalizing disorders
  • Describe the types and subtypes of aggression
  • Define the measurement of aggression
  • Understand ODD measurement, epidemiology, and course
  • Describe ODD treatment
  • Understand SUD Relations with aggression and antisocial behavior
  • Describe SUD Risk factors in adolescence
  • Recognize common school difficulties among youth with ADHD
  • Describe the educational supports available for youth with ADHD via 504 plans and IEPs
  • Read and utilize assessment reports for youth with ADHD
  • Understand why traditional discipline doesn't work for many challenging kids
  • Know the types of thinking skills that challenging kids struggle with
  • Recognize that there are three options for how to handle any problem with a child
  • Begin to practice the process of solving problems collaboratively with children
  • Know the mission of parent guidance and how to form an alliance with parents of children and adolescents with the internalizing disorders _ depression and anxiety disorders
  • Know the key diagnostic features of and psychosocial and environmental factors associated with depression and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents
  • Know how to implement the principles of parent guidance with parents of children and adolescents with depression and anxiety disorders.

Target Audience

primary care and community mental health providers, pediatricians, school health professionals, nurses, law enforcement, employee assistance programs, clergy and other first responders.