Dealing with your Mental Health as a Military Child

Senior Christal Rolack discusses the emotional impact of being amilitary child


Photo Julia Guillermo

Christal Rolack (’22) pictured with the S2S sponsor Mrs. Bush.

Julia Guillermo, Staff Writer

S2S is a student-led program where military children, along with civilian students, have the opportunity to welcome and connect with new students within their school. The club is also focused on advocating for mental health, which is why S2S held a mental health awareness week at Robinson.

During school lunches, S2S passed out mental health pledges, along with useful resources that discussed the importance of mental health. The club’s goal was to help students recognize how imperative it is to make their mental health a priority, especially, as they cope with the everyday stresses of balancing their school and personal life.

As a high schooler, as well as a military child, Christal Rolack (’22) discusses how she has coped with her mental health during her last 4 years in high school. She has had to learn how to adapt to the constant adjustment of moving and changing schools over the last seventeen years. Rolack’s dad has been an active duty member in the United States Army for twenty years. Rolack has moved five times throughout her life and has attended 6 different schools.

“Having to move is a very emotional experience. The initial thought of hearing you have to move from a place you love is always sad, but when you move and start to fall in love with that place, it gets better…” Rolack said.

Although moving is an emotional experience for many military children, Rolack talks about how each move doesn’t necessarily get easier, but rather it creates resilience and adaptability. For her, this has contributed to her overall mental health because she has had to overcome more adversities than most teenagers are confronted with.

“Moving around is always a challenge going to a new place making new friends but especially saying goodbye to old ones. Not really understanding why you have to leave the place you called home.” Rolack said.

Rolack comes from a family of ten, which has provided her with a close-knit support system. For her, surrounding herself with people that are able to comfort her, as well as reassure her during times of change, has greatly impacted her overall mental health.

“My family has been my emotional support because we all go through the same experience together,” Rolack said.

Rolack’s family is certainly her main support, but she has also involved herself in S2S here at Robinson, which has allowed her to establish student connections. Throughout her 4 years in high school, she has had the opportunity to establish other relationships through S2s, allowing her to grow her support system.

“S2S has allowed me to not feel alone because the club is filled with people who understand my experiences,” Rolack said.

One individual who has helped Rolack connect with others around Robinson is the S2S sponsor, Ms. Bush. She has been counseling military students for the past 5 years at Robinson, creating a safe space for many incoming students.

“I have learned that I love working with military students and their families! I enjoy getting to know these
kids and helping them find their strengths and navigate their challenges,” Bush said.

Rolack is proud to be a part of S2S since it has given her a supportive outlet to deal with her mental health. She is especially grateful that Bush has created an environment where each individual in the club feels welcome.

“Ms. Bush allows a safe space for every military child to feel safe and comfortable which really makes a difference when you are new…” Rolack said.