A new therapy programme to support the mental health and well-being of military children has been launched by charity Little Troopers.

Delivered in collaboration with The Owl Therapy Centre, the tri-service programme opens for referrals on 10 October, offering free one-to-one psychotherapy sessions and group sessions. There will also be an on-demand session for parents to help them better support their children at home.

One-to-one sessions

Open to any school-age military children from reception through to age 18, the one-to-one therapy programme will include six, hour-long sessions with a qualified psychotherapist. The sessions will be delivered face-to-face at the child’s home or in a local space agreed with each family.

Each child will focus on a different topic each session, including emotional regulation, uncertainty and change, relationships, resilience and life-story work. Referrals can be made by a parent, school, community group or welfare worker.

Group support for teens

The group sessions are aimed at military teens and will be delivered in person by a qualified psychotherapist at youth clubs, cadet units, community centres, after-school clubs and other community groups. Group leaders will be able to apply for a session for up to ten children via Little Troopers.

Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, explains: “We have seen a big increase in the number of military families contacting our charity worried about how military life is impacting the wellbeing of their child. The programme is something I have wanted to bring to fruition for some time, filling the gap between everyday support for military children that can be provided at home and in school, and crisis support already delivered through the NHS.”

A National Lottery grant will enable the programme to initially run for two years, providing one-to-one therapy sessions for 100 children and 50 group sessions, benefiting 600 children. The Owl Centre has also created a video that will be available via Little Troopers, offering parents tips to support their children at home and advice on how to regulate their own emotions.

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