The Challenges of Military Children
Steve Adubato goes on-location to the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey to speak with Geraldine Oades-Sese, Director of Project C.O.M.B.A.T., about the challenges children face while a military family member is away. Oades-Ses also discusses how Project C.O.M.B.A.T. helps prepare school districts to help these students.
"We are pleased to be joined by Dr. Geraldine Oades-Sese... Yes. ...who is Project Director with... excuse me, Director of Project C.O.M.B.A.T., which is? Children Overcoming Military Base Adversities Together. So talk about that. By the way we're here at the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, doing a series of interviews dealing with services to our veterans. What are the issues that these children are facing? A lot of mental health issues like anxiety, depression, being that the military member is away, or reintegrating back to the home, and so what Project C.O.M.B.A.T. is trying to do is to educate the community, particularly the school districts, that have teachers, psychologists, social workers, and nurses, about military culture, what these children and families experience, and how to help them. I think it's very important that the community help these families that's not related to the military, you know, themselves, but just a community outreach to support these families. Schools need help in that regard? Yes. They're not set up, per se, to deal with these issues? To understand these issues? And that's why organizations like yours are so important? Yes. That's correct. How do you engage them? Describe it. First of all, we ask everyone to stand up, "Who has a related family member who's part of the military or friends?" And almost 99% of people stand up. So everyone knows someone in the military, but they don't know what they're going through when they serve, when they're deployed, when they're reintegrated with the families, and so this is an opportunity to increase that awareness, to be able to be that support system, because I think together, that's why together is an important part. Talk about that because so much of the conversation we had today here at the Healthcare Foundation was with a group of 12 experts, you are one of them, to talk about collaboration, partnership, coming together. Why is it so important that people just don't simply say, "Well this is what I do. That's what you do. We do things separately." Why doesn't that work? Well primarily because being separate, and I think that's what happens, even in academia or in the hospital, that we do... Silos? ...work in silos. Exactly. And not knowing what each other does, you know, it could be more well integrated, the services, instead of separate. And there could be more focus, and more expertise in a particular area, instead of being so broad. You know, these services. So... excuse me for interrupting doctor, but what veterans need very often, is multifaceted. Yes. They're in different areas so knowing who else is doing what..."