There’s no question that military kids shoulder an abnormal amount of stress. And even as military officials work with local school districts to help educators understand how to walk kids through the challenges military life brings, the Defense Department’s school system has its own set of mental health helpers.
School Based Behavioral Health providers are in 19 Defense Department Education Activity (DoDeA) schools on three stateside Army bases -- Fort Campbell and Fort Knox, Kentucky and Fort Bragg, North Carolina -- and in 10 schools on U.S. Army bases in Germany.
Sponsored by the Army’s military treatment facility system, these providers can be a front line resource for kids who attend the schools. First started in 2011, each school has a battery of providers who can help kids or refer them on if needed. The staff consists of a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Licensed Clinical Social Workers, DoDEA officials told me.
Accessing these providers is easy -- but never done in a vacuum. Kids can get referred for help by a member of the school staff. Before any care is given, staff must get written permission from the parents, a critical step in keeping them in the loop.
Officials said this program is especially important because school is where kids spend such a huge quantity of their time. This ongoing program is a part of the Army’s attempt to make sure kids have the right access to care where they already are.