Free counseling for military children now available in Crestview schools

School classroom
Published: Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 07:33 PM.

CRESTVIEW —  Free counseling services are now available to military families with children attending several Okaloosa County schools.

Students attending Crestview High School, Shoal River Middle School and Antioch and Bob Sikes elementary schools can receive help from the Child and Youth Behavioral Military and Family Life Counseling program. The service also is available at Eglin Air Force Base's Family Readiness Center.

Whether a parent is away on duty, or a child has difficulty adjusting to new settings, 18 full-time, certified counselors are available for support, said Larry Lumpkin, a school liaison officer at Eglin AFB.

"There was quite a need for this program, (particularly) in the Crestview area," he said, referring to military growth from the 7th Special Forces (Airborne) Group, in addition to military families from Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field and Duke Field. "The (military) children in this area are good candidates for this program."

Crestview High School Principal Bob Jones has already noticed how the school's two counselors have integrated with students.

"They are usually in hallways and lunchrooms talking with students," he said. "They also attend several of our football games ... they have already made themselves a part of our community."

CHS guidance counselor Karen Jeanette said the Military and Family Life counselors are a welcome addition.

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