GRAPEVINE, Texas — Children waiting for a parent to return safely from deployment often are vulnerable to stress, depression and anxiety, say behavioral health experts.
To better understand these and other issues, parents, educators and military professionals are descending upon the Metroplex this week for the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) 10th Annual Conference.
More than 800 people will attend MCEC’s three-day conference, "For the Sake of the Child, For the Good of the World," which begins at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, July 23, at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, 1501 Gaylord Trail in Grapevine, Texas. Media are invited to the conference to interview participants and speakers.
"Forty-three percent of those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are parents, and their children are more vulnerable to behavioral health issues," said Dr. Mary M. Keller, executive director of MCEC. "This conference will arm educators and others with the tools they need to help our military families prevent or overcome these challenges and help give peace of mind to their moms and dads."
Among the featured speakers are Dr. Kenneth Ginsberg and Maj. Keith M. Lemmon, M.D., who are participating in the conference courtesy of TriWest Healthcare Alliance. Dr. Ginsberg and Dr. Lemmon will offer attendees practical ways adults can support the military child and teenager.
Dr. Ginsburg is author of "The Parent's Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving your Child Roots and Wings." Dr. Lemmon creates videos aimed at helping teenagers and younger children deal with a parent's deployment, such as "Military Youth Coping with Separation: When Family Members Deploy."
"Dr. Ginsberg and Dr. Lemmon are two of the leading authorities on how to develop military children’s strengths and coping skills," said TriWest President and CEO David J. McIntyre, Jr. "Their books and videos have inspired and given hope to many military families across our nation – and TriWest is pleased to partner with MCEC to make these resources available to these military families."
The conference includes workshops and other notable speakers including:
Wednesday, June 23
11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. – Lt. Col. Greg and Kim Gadson, a Wounded Warrior and his wife who will share inspiring examples of one military family living the "new normal"
4:15 to 5:30 p.m. – Dr. Darlyne Bailey, founding Dean of the College of Education of Human Development, and Assistant to the President at the University of Minnesota
Thursday, June 24
9 to 10:30 a.m. – Jim Collins, author of "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don't"
Noon to 1:30 p.m. – Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton, Director of The Defense Center (DCoE) for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury
4:30 to 5:40 p.m. – Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, a former Marine pilot and NASA astronaut will speak on lessons learned through difficult situations
Friday, June 25
9:30 to 10:45 a.m. – Dr. Ginsberg and Dr. Lemmon
11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. – Dr. Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense