Naval District Washington (NDW) Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSC) continue to offer mental health resources for service members, Navy civilians, and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NDW’s FFSCs have offered resources to help personnel cope with the effects of the pandemic since April 1. The FFSCs offer several courses including Suicide Prevention, Helping Children to Navigate COVID-19, and How to Manage Stress and Anxiety to help ease the burden of Navy personnel and their families.
“I think it’s gotten harder for folks,” said Jodi Pallet, NDW counseling and advocacy program supervisor. “We’ve been at this stay-at-home posture for a lot longer and people are starting to feel the fatigue and the strain of having restricted movements. It’s hard for folks who are homeschooling kids, home with their partners or don’t have time to themselves to recharge during the pandemic. We also now have other crises going on with the economic crisis and racial tensions in America. People are suffering in a lot of different ways and these are unprecedented times.”
As spring shifts to summer, some seasonal childcare services aren’t available to parents as they would have been prior to the pandemic. The FFSC is offering some courses after working hours to accommodate parents who are too busy to attend during the day.
“I think a big mental health factor right now is just working from home and educating your children from home,” said Martha Karandy, life skill facilitator for FFSC. “A lot of our families are stressed because they’re working full-time and there’s no daycare available for them this summer. There may not be summer camps available to them to take their children to. We’re trying to offer people resources and different activities to help reduce their stress when it comes to navigating their household. We know people are at home with their children during the day, so we are also providing a lot of our training after 5 p.m. so people can have access.”
In addition to the online webinars, Navy personnel and their families can call and schedule one-on-one counseling from their FFSC.
“People can call and tell me about their stress on travel, for example, and I can give them resources from TSA and the CDC on how to protect themselves on an airplane. We are fully open and ready to help. Parents have been extremely grateful because they knew they had a place where they could get help. At the end we always give our contact numbers and they refer their friends and family to us. This is a hard time for everybody and people can reach out to us for assistance. Our counselors are here to help,” said Karandy.
To register for the interactive webinars, visit www.navymwrwashington.com/registration-form or log into the classroom a few minutes before the scheduled start time at http://ffr-learn.adobeconnect.com/nsawfleetandfamilyvirtualtrainings.
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