Program Offers Help for At-Risk Kids of Military Families

New York — A decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has taken its toll on children whose parents are deployed, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Washington School of Public Health. The study, of more than 10,000, 8th, 10th and 12th-grade students, found that boys especially have been affected by the stress of a parent’s deployment. Researchers wrote that they are more likely to engage in high-risk behavior, experience low self esteem and suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts. The study was conducted in Washington state, home to 60,000 active-duty service members. “It’s really time to focus on the children that are left behind,” said Sarah Reed, the lead author of the report, “Adolescent well-being in Washington state military families,” published last week in the American Journal of Public Health.

New Suicide Prevention Task Force Targets LGBT Kids

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people are up to seven times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers and transgender kids also have higher rates of suicidal behavior. This information comes from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center and spurred the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (NSSP) to launch a new task force that targets LGBT young people. The Alliance was created last September as a partnership with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Department of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. Several suicides involving LGBT teens made headlines last year. The most notable may be the Rutgers University freshman who jumped to his death from a bridge after his private encounter with another boy was posted on the Internet.