Monday, January 18, 2016

Vietnam Veterans Turn to Cracker Barrel After VA Ended PTSD Support Group

This is what peer-support does. They help each other heal as much as deal with life. A group of Vietnam veterans found that within the walls of the VA. Great! Or so it seems but the VA said they do not want therapy so the veterans have to find someplace else to meet.

Now, just wondering here, but where are all the charities out there raising so much money for awareness when this group has to meet at Cracker Barrel on their own dime? Plus, why do all these groups need so much money when this story makes it clear that veterans help each other for free?
Vietnam vets with PTSD upset at Stratton VA over end of therapy group
VA facility disputes claims of need by Vietnam veterans
Times Union
By Claire Hughes
Published January 17, 2016
The veterans' group will keep getting together, one way or another, Risatti said. For now, they're meeting at the Cracker Barrel restaurant in East Greenbush.
Peter Risatti, 70, of Lee, Mass., and Silvester Diaz, 69, of Troy, are part of a Vietnam veterans group unhappy about the discontinuation of their PTSD therapy.
(Claire Hughes/Times Union)
A dozen or so Vietnam veterans who call themselves a "band of brothers" say the Stratton VA Medical Center is eliminating their group therapy for post traumatic stress disorder, and they can't imagine how they will live without it.

The men, in their 60s and 70s, say they rely on the group to keep them from drinking, exploding at their wives, or getting so anxious they can't leave their homes. They see the VA's decision to end their group therapy as a foolish measure to cut costs that will lead to problems more expensive to treat.

Peter Risatti, a 70-year-old member of the group, explained how he sees the VA perspective: "We figure you're going to die off in the next few years, so why should we spend money on you?"

The Albany VA has a different story.

Since the psychologist who led the PTSD group retired in 2014, the men have refused other therapy options offered to them, according to Albany VA spokesman Peter Potter. What they want, Potter said, is a place to socialize.

"That's a problem," Potter said. "They can't do it on the taxpayer's dollar."
read more here

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