Counselors Help Kids Cope With War

Sergeant John Lowe understands the emotional turmoil many military children are going through these days. He said "A lot of stress, anger and denial. That's what we're seeing in the children right now".

Lowe works at the Family Support Center at Keesler Air Force Base. He said "Yesterday, I went to D'Iberville Middle School and there about 20 students over there, and a lot of their parents are on standby. They're still under a lot of stress, trying to deal with maybe their parents maybe leaving".

Keesler representatives met with more than 50 school and private counselors from across the Coast Thursday, to let them know that the base is here to help.

Major Abbie Luck said "We're working hand in hand with the schools, to try to help ease some of the anxiety for our children. So, we're reaching out to talk to them, and telling them about the programs our families can use".

Counselors want to learn all they can about the services available, to help children deal with the pain of deployment. Lynda Van Winkle is a counselor at St. Martin East Elementary. She said "We often are the first who are aware of situations occurring at home. It's important to let parents know what they can do, and give them information they may not have thought about".

Vickie Tiblier is the president of the Gulf Coast Counselor's Association. She said "We're trying to comfort them, and trying to make them feel like they have a place here, and they are safe here".

Counselors say that support can help ease the children's fear and confusion during this crisis. Here are some tips on help children cope.

  • Create a safe and loving environment for children.
  • Allow them to express their fears and concerns.
  • Limit your child's exposure to media coverage about the war.