New Program To Help Veterans With PTSD


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is often called an invisible wound of war.

All too often it goes untreated.

"PTSD is a part of our community and a lot soldiers end up getting out of the military and staying in our community," said Tim Ruetten, mental health services coordinator for the Jefferson County Office of Community Services.

Thanks to a new program the Jefferson County Office of Community Services is working to launch this fall, veterans in the north country will be getting a new tool to help in healing.

"Other veterans who have experienced those symptoms themselves and resolved them would be there to help other newly discharged veterans or veterans who are experiencing those symptoms too, you know, get through that process," said Roger Ambrose, director of the Jefferson County Office of Community Services.

It's called the PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer to Peer Program.

It's named for a combat medic who struggled for years with the symptoms of PTSD before dying from a drug overdose in 2008.

His story inspired state Senator Patty Ritchie (R. - 48th District) to act.

"I was able to secure $200,000 for the new program. And it's something that I believe is very important for the soldiers and their families," said Ritchie.

But in order to make the program a success, it's going to take other veterans, who have had similar experiences themselves, to step up to the plate to provide that peer support.

"We'll be looking for those individuals. We're going to provide them with training and we're looking forward to getting started," said Ambrose.

Anyone who is interested in taking part is asked to contact the Office of Community Services at 785-2383.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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