Health Tech for Military Parents and Families (Next Generation Behavioral Health podcast)

Health Tech for Military Parents and Families (Next Generation Behavioral Health podcast)


[Dr. Christina Armstrong] Hello. And welcome to “Next Generation Behavioral
Health”. [Dr. Julie Kinn] 10 minute tips for modernizing
patient care. [music]
[Armstrong] I’m Dr. Christina Armstrong. [Kinn] And I’m Dr. Julie Kinn. [Armstrong] This is our third episode of a
three-part series where we interview Dr. Kelly Blasko, who is a counseling psychologist and
military child and family expert in the Department of Defense. Thank you for joining us again today Dr. Blasko. [Dr. Kelly Blasko] Thanks for having me. [Kinn] In our previous episodes you’ve told
us about specific resources for younger children, for tweens and teens, and today we’re hoping
you can tell us more about resources and challenges for parenting. [Blasko] Absolutely. Military parents really have quite a job to
be a parent and a spouse or partner of a service member, but really what it comes down to is
that if a parent is distressed than the child is stressed and vice versa, so it’s really
important to give military parents tools. And I feel like they divide into two separate
categories. One are wellness tools for the parent, such
as mobile apps – “Breathe2Relax” or “Virtual Hope Box”, things that are kind
of self-care. Those just put a parent at ease just to take
care of themselves. And then second kind is to give them tools
to learn parenting skills, especially, unique to military. And there are several resources that the Department
of Defense and Veterans Affairs have developed. One, in particular, is called “Parenting2Go”. It’s actually a mobile app that is a parenting
course. It focuses on teaching parenting skills after
a deployment. It also focuses on a wide age range and a
particular topic around discipline, which is often missing in many parenting courses. As I mentioned in the past couple of episodes,
Military Kids Connect has a parenting section, which actually has parenting resources focused
around a reintegration period when a parent may be injured. And some experts talk about kind of what are
some parenting tips for all age ranges. And then we have Sesame Street that also does
quite a bit of good work to show how to parent young children around difficult times such
as deployment or injury. Another DOD resource that’s really helpful
for parents is Military OneSource. This is the go-to for all kinds of parts of
your life, and it gives more information, but even in terms of being a better couple. One particular resource that I really like
is called “Love Every Day”, and it’s really a texting application where couples can text
back and forth just to keep communicating with each other and keep that bond together. [Kinn] That’s fantastic. I hadn’t heard of that one. [Armstrong] Yeah. I hadn’t either. [Blasko] Yeah. Actually, it’s really great. It’s a wonderful app and it’s perfect for
service members of all ages, but particularly our young service members who often feel really
disconnected. [Kinn] It sounds like when a provider or health
care team is working with military children part of a solution can be really looking at,
how can we help this family grow stronger as a whole? [Blasko] Right. Just as anything, it’s a system. A family system. And if one thing changes, another thing changes. When a parent deploys kind of the family system
has to adjust. So it might be a single parent at home now
because the other parents not quite so available. But then when the parent comes back the family
adjusts again, and kids have to have two parents now that they have to report to in a sense. And maybe there’s some conflicts there because
everybody does it a little different. So I agree with you, it’s a family as a whole,
it’s not just one person or another. [Armstrong] Kelly, that’s great. If you’re a provider seeing a parent, where
would you recommend that they get started? [Blasko] Really, I think self-care is the
big first step. If you’re not healthy and you’re not taking
care of yourself, it’s very difficult to take care of others. So I would recommend the apps that we have. And then the second line of defense would
be to learn to parent and to feel more confident. I think those two particular resources go
well hand-in-hand to build the confidence and to be a healthy parent as well as a person. [Armstrong] Oh, that’s great. So number one self-care. It reminds me of having to put the oxygen
mask on yourself first before you put it on your kids, which is almost counterintuitive
and as a parent, we often forget that but you’re completely right. And then number two accessing resources to
become a stronger parent and also a stronger couple as well. [Blasko] Absolutely. [Armstrong] So Kelly you know someone really
famous. What is Elmo like in a real life? [Blasko] Oh, man. He’s my pal [laughter]. Elmo and I are on a first name basis and that’s
one of the most exciting things about working on this project. He’s lovable and he knows exactly what to
say to everyone, no matter what the age is and so he’s one of my personal favorites. [Armstrong] Oh, I am so jealous. Hopefully, one day I get to meet him in person
too [laughter]. Kelly, the resources that you’ve provided
over the past three episodes no doubt will be benefiting thousands hopefully more so
we really appreciate you spending the time with us to record these three episodes so
that we can provide awareness of all these fantastic resources to everybody out there. [Blasko] Absolutely. That’s my intention as well. [Armstrong] So we will have all the references
and all the access to the information we talked about today in our show notes, so please look
there, and if you have any questions for Dr. Blasko or any of us, please just go to the
show notes and you can contact us there. [Kinn] That’s right. Our email address is in the show notes and
you can also get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter @MilitaryHealth. [Armstrong] Yeah. Thank you for listening today to Next Generation
Behavioral Health. [Kinn] Thank you for subscribing and rating
“Next Generation Behavioral Health” wherever you get podcasts. [Armstrong] “Next Generation Behavioral
Health” is produced by the Defense Health Agency. [music]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *