Coping with a Loved One’s Deployment

In times of uncertainty and war, many of us know of friends and co-workers whose loved ones may be deployed for military service.  The deployment of a friend or relative can bring with it powerful feelings of worry, anxiety, upheaval and fear.  Often spouses and relatives may need to take on extra responsibilities at home caring for children of those at service.  Families may not have communication with their loved one for long periods of time.  These circumstances can lead to higher levels of stress that can affect physical and emotional well-being.  Some of the symptoms of stress can include trouble sleeping, nightmares, loss of concentration, irritability, tense muscles, nervousness, and feelings of panic.  Stress can also result in feelings of depression, anger and guilt.

During these very difficult and frightening times, it is important that those us waiting at home care for both ourselves and those around us.  In caring for ourselves, it is recommended that we discuss our feelings, develop and maintain a support network, maintain open communication with loved ones abroad, seek accurate and relevant information directly from appropriate sources, remain active, and accept the lack of control over deployment events.

Co-workers are also impacted when a colleague has a loved one deployed.  Often they share their co-worker’s concern and worry.  The UCLA's Staff and Faculty Counseling Center (SFCC) is available to assist individuals and departments who are affected by the deployment of a friend or family member.  SFCC is available to provide individual counseling, workgroup interventions and information about available community resources.  SFCC is also gathering names of employees with loved ones in military service who would like to participate in a support network or support group.  If you are interested in seeking assistance, please call the UCLA's Staff and Faculty Counseling Center at 310-794-0245.