Traumatic Grief in Military Children

Since 2001, thousands of military children have had parents killed in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many other children have had siblings, cousins, and other relatives die in war. Like other grieving children, military children who experience the death of someone special under traumatic circumstances can develop traumatic grief, which can interfere with their ability to grieve and to call up comforting memories of the person who died. Traumatic grief may also interfere with everyday activities such as being with friends and doing schoolwork. There are, however, unique aspects of military family loss that those who care for or work with grieving military children should be aware of. To find out more about military children and families click here.

NCTSN Resources

Traumatic Grief in Military Children Information Series

Helping Military Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Parents gives information on how military children dealing with the death of someone close to them may feel and what you can do to help.  

Helping Military Children with Traumatic Grief: Tip Sheet for Educators offers information on how children dealing with trauma and grief responses may feel and how you can help them.

This series provides culturally competent materials for educating families, medical professionals, and school personnel about how to better serve military children who are experiencing traumatic grief.
Traumatic Grief in Military Children: Information for Educators (2008) (PDF)
Traumatic Grief in Military Children: Information for Families (2008) (PDF)
Traumatic Grief in Military Children: Information for Medical Providers (2008) (PDF)

Links

Mental Health America, Helping Children Cope With Loss Resulting from War or Terrorism
Overview of how to assist children who are coping with loss as a result of war or terrorist acts. Includes toll free number for accessing additional resources (800-969-6642).

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
800-959-TAPS (8277) (24-hour hotline)
Comprehensive resource for all who are grieving the death of a loved one serving our country.