Dec 11, 2010 8:21 PM by Matt Stafford

Holidays bring stress for military families

"In the last year or so, I've been seeing more and more service people than I ever have," says Dan Lundy, L.P.C. That's after 18 years of private practice, off post, as a licensed counselor. However he says it's not just the service members having trouble, the whole family takes on a deployment.

"Just the nature of the service member not being home can create a lot more stress in general, and I believe that gets magnified during the holiday season," Lundy explains. He says part of that comes from the moving around associated with the Army; many people have moved in from out of town, leaving their support system behind.

"That isolation and that lack of support, I think, really magnifies the stress levels."

He's not alone in thinking that, the University of Phoenix is keeping an eye on the stress for these families as well.

"There are counselors in the community, and teachers, that are hungry for this information," says Rebecca Robles, the University of Phoenix college chair for the Colorado Springs campus.

Saturday they held one of four free workshops giving professionals a chance to talk about how they're handling military problems.

The University of Phoenix is one of the largest private universities in the country, but they realize helping military families is a local issue for their Springs campus.

"We know we're one of three campuses with large military populations," Robles says, along with campuses in El Paso and Killeen, Texas. So they focus on the issues of military families a little more closely through their curriculum.

It's the same reason Lundy is giving extra focus to his practice; spending a Saturday learning more about an issue that he's watching grow.

Organizers say family members should watch for erratic behavior, changes in sleeping patterns and swings in moods. Professionals say if you notice these behaviors, seek help. As for getting through the holidays, they say it will take some patience and support to help someone one fight off stresses they are feeling.



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