There is no need for children of Service families to suffer in silence if they’re facing difficulties of any kind. The leading relationship charity Relate offers support for all the family, not just couples and not just adults.
Counsellors receive specialised training to help children and young people deal with whatever issues concern them, be it their parents’ separation, bullying, trouble settling in at a new school, or the unique challenges children of Service families may face, such as the long absence of a parent who’s serving on a ship or submarine and cannot be contacted.
Naval Service families can access sessions with Relate for free, paid for by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC). With the majority of Naval Service families now in private, rather than Service Family Accommodation, and many living away from a Royal Navy or Royal Marines base, it can be lonely and isolating. It isn’t always possible to know where the serving family member is and they could be away for six to nine months with contact severely restricted. A Relate centre may be a lot nearer than another Service family or base.
Relate’s counsellors are aware of the special issues faced by children of Service personnel and can help them by talking through their issues and working with them on coping strategies.
Counselling lets the children talk freely about how they feel away from the school and home environment. It’s something that’s just for them, not their parents, siblings or anyone else. This focus can be very reassuring and comforting for a child in distress.
Many of Relate’s youngest clients say they feel happier after they see a Relate counsellor and are better able to deal with their problems.
Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel or their partners can self-refer to Relate by calling the RNRMC dedicated number 01302 380 279 which will be answered by a Relate professional and is confidential.
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