PTSD Treatment For Veterans Becomes More Accessible

PTSD Treatment For Veterans Becomes More Accessible

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Retired soldiers, who are fighting symptoms of PTSD, don't have to travel far to get care.

PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental health condition that can be triggered by military combat.

Over the last two years, River Hospital in Alexandria Bay has expanded its therapy program.

The program started with small groups meeting once per week, which later grew to 3 to 4 times per week.

"As time went on, we learned it was not enough and there was a greater need than that. That one day a week didn't really allow us to do the trauma care that was so desperately needed," said Destonie Cormier, social worker.

River Hospital sees anywhere from 50 to 75 veterans each year for PTSD treatment.

The hospital also works with the Veterans Administration to accommodate referrals

"If they live more than an hour away from any VA clinical facility, then there are mechanisms for them to seek treatment from private practitioners," said Dr. Matthew Friedman, VA National Center for PTSD. 

It's as quick as a phone call. A veteran suffering PTSD symptoms can call River Hospital to look at getting placed into a therapy group.

The program lasts 8 to 9 weeks. Staff members say there's major progress in the end result.

"Given that we have Fort Drum and we have soldiers in our backyard and veterans in our backyard, I believe that it is our duty and our responsibility to care for them," said Cormier. 

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