The Role of Family and Loved Ones in Substance Misuse

Studies have shown a link between stressful life events and substance misuse in the military. Service members frequently experience stress due to situations like training, combat or multiple deployments.

Helping Families Understand Combat Stress

Welcoming home a loved one after a separation is an emotional time for service members and their families.

Reintegrating into Family Life after Deployment

Returning home after deployment is often a time of happiness. The transition back to your life at home can also be difficult and stressful – for you and your loved ones. Here are some tips to help you reintegrate into family life.

Using Social Media to Stay Connected

Social media provides great ways to connect, interact and communicate with friends and family while separated.

Peer Support for Military Spouses

Connecting with peers can help improve your quality of life, promote wellness and build resiliency.

You Are Your Friend's Biggest Support

The loss of any warrior's life is a tragedy, whether it's in combat or in a different type of battle. Although relatively uncommon overall, military suicides have unfortunately increased recently, especially within the Army and Marine Corps.

Support & Resources for Single Service Members

As a single service member, it is important to have a personal network of peers, friends and family members to help you cope with the challenges that you may experience throughout a deployment cycle. They can help you feel connected to life at home, cope with the stress of a combat environment and help you readjust when you return from deployment. Try using the tips and suggestions below to help you strengthen and expand your personal support network.

Maintaining Relationships with Loved Ones During Deployment

Military spouses and significant others provide an invaluable source of support to today’s service members. Loved ones can play a vital role in offering encouragement during a military career – especially during deployments when separation often goes hand-in-hand with concern for the safety of service members, coping as a single parent at home or worries about money or legal troubles.

Social Fitness – Building Healthy Social Ties

“Social fitness” involves building and maintaining healthy connections with others. It plays an important role in supporting optimal performance and resilience. A warrior who is socially fit grows trusted and valued relationships with family, friends and fellow service members. Having a clear understanding of service values, the mission and its meaning is key in supporting healthy social networks. A socially fit warrior is able to engage in effective and respectful communication with others.

Boosting Family Resilience

Just as service members can build resilience, families can also take steps to boost their resilience or “family fitness.” Family fitness is every military family’s ability to use physical, psychological, social and spiritual resources to prepare for, adapt to and grow from military lifestyle demands. By helping family members feel more secure and connected in daily life, families can build resilience to cope with common military stressors like deployment, permanent change of station, combat injury and operational stress. This resilience also helps protect the psychological health of children who may struggle with change, fears or missing a parent. What’s more, the more fit military families are, the better able they are to support their service member.


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