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Professionals Donate Time to Help MI Vets

November 3, 2008

Lansing, MI – Michigan fmental health professionals are donating time to help troops as they return from Iraq and Afghanistan, if those soldiers need some help to sort through what’s happened to them - and to their families.

It's part of the nationwide "Give an Hour" network. Founder Barbara Romberg says some soldiers and veterans are at risk of substance abuse, if they don't get help understanding how their brains are processing information and experiences. It's a process that can take years for some people.

"They don't know what's going on, they don't understand, they don't feel like themselves; it's uncomfortable, it's scary. They'll find things that they can to use to cope."

Romberg says the lack of mental health help for vets has been well-documented, and although the Veterans Health Administration has made improvements, care can still be hard to find, especially in rural areas. Soldiers and veterans aren't the only ones who should ask for help if they need it, according to Romberg, who says families have demons to battle, too."

"It may be the stress, and the strain, and the anxiety when their loved one is deployed, or it may be the difficulty when that person comes home, and the re-integration."

The "Give an Hour" network is designed to catch those who fall through the cracks because of money, paperwork issues, or location. Help is available in Michigan by office appointment, or phone. Find local help at
www.giveanhour.org

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - MI