When a loved one is deployed and something happens that brings the mission, deployment or tasking into the 24 news cycle it can leave families feeling a sense of uneasiness as it can be difficult to receive first hand information.
With the unknown lurking, it can be hard to comprehend what will happen next, and while you may not hear from your family member, it is important to remember there are resources available to military families while their family member is deployed.
Stefanie Scriver, acting family wellness services manager at the Military Family Resource Centre – National Capital Region, says the Military Family Services Program (MFSP) was developed to respond to the identified needs of military families that arise from the unique characteristics of the military lifestyle.
“The Military Family Resource Centres deliver the MFSP, which includes outreach, information, support and assistance to military families specially designed before, during, and after the CAF member is absent from their family due to training, deployments and other service requirements,” says Scriver.
She said they work closely with Canadian Forces Support Unit in Ottawa to provide deployment support through a variety of programs and services.
These services include warm line calls, deployment support groups, emergency, and respite child care, help sending care packages and letters overseas, and other services designed for families experiencing deployment.
For those who live in an area without an MFRC close by, there is still a large list of online resources to help both family members and CAF members through a deployment.
The Family Information Line (FIL) is one of those available to anyone, anywhere, 24/7. Trained FIL Counsellors can help connect military families with a variety of national and local services.
This service is available locally and internationally at: 1-800-866-4546 (International 00-800-771-17722)
For members and their immediate family members, the Member and Family Assistance Program is available to discuss a variety of issues including, interpersonal relations, personal and emotional, stress and burn-out work-related, including harassment and sexual assault, and any other concern that affects or could affect personal well-being.
This service is available by calling: 1-800-268-7708.
If you or someone you know requires support reach out to your local MFRC or any of the resources mentioned in this article.