NEWS | Oct. 10, 2017

From parenting to stress management: Family Advocacy programs offer support

By Staff Sgt. Andrea Salazar Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

The well-being of service members and their families is intricately linked to mission readiness.

The Family Advocacy Program at Joint Base Charleston is here to support healthy military families and communities by offering various programs, counseling, education, training and activities designed to intervene when families are having difficulties or need professional intervention.

“Military families encounter so many stressors that are unique to being in the military,” said Brenda Edmond, 628th Medical Group Family Advocacy Outreach Program Manager and retired Air Force master sergeant. “Frequent moves, absence of the military parent through deployments, temporary duty locations and other stresses are common for military families. For the parent who stays behind during deployment there’s increased family responsibilities, financial issues, isolation and fear for their spouse's safety which can lead to anxiety, loneliness, sadness, and a feeling of being overwhelmed.”

Members and their families may not be aware of the range of the monthly free programs and classes offered to enhance healthy relationship skills, anger and stress management and new parenting.

“I recall when I was pregnant with my first child at Travis Air Force Base,” said Edmond. “I love my husband and I appreciated his support throughout everything, but to be honest, I longed for my mother who lived in Indiana.  I wished the New Parent Support Program was in place at that time.  I needed someone to help me understand how to care for my new baby, breastfeeding and all those other things that new parents need to be aware of.  I needed someone to just talk to, and that is what the NPSP offers.”

These classes are constructed to help members develop skills that will benefit them in their daily lives, improve quality of life and may help to prevent instances of domestic violence.

“Feedback from the programs has been positive,” said Edmond. “Some comments of feedback taken directly from customer satisfaction questionnaires are, ‘Great Class! Enjoyed myself and found it very helpful. Keep up the great work!’ and ‘This was a great class. I would recommend it to everyone!’”

Although the environment of the classes are open and honest, they offer confidentiality in which attendees who are suffering from similar problems can help each other without fear of their personal information being released.

“Personally, I love the programs that we offer.  Who doesn’t get angry or stressed?  Who doesn’t at some point in their marriage need someone to talk to or bounce things off or just needs a little extra help during difficult times in a marriage?” said Edmond. “Military families are amazingly resilient, having programs in place like the ones provided through FAP help to enhance the resiliency of our military community.”

For more information on programs and to get enrolled, contact Family Advocacy at 843-963-6972 or 843-963-6504.