Hope For Heroes
November 27, 2007
We’ve heard a lot about the unseen war injuries coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. PTSD and TBI can be stressful, not only for the Soldier who is struggling to deal with these injuries, but their family members as well. While the Military and the VA are doing a lot to ensure that Soldiers and their families are educated about the signs and symptoms of these injuries, as well as striving to ensure that appropriate care is available, we’re seeing that the military and VA health care systems are overloaded. Often times, Troops have a lengthy wait, before they are able to receive treatment, when, often, time is of essence. In communities across the country, mental health care providers are stepping up to the plate and doing what they can to fill the gap and ensure that our Troops receive the care that they need in a timely manner.
One such program, Hope For Heroes, which was recently launched by the Samaritan Center for Counseling and Pastoral Care in Austin, TX, Georgetown, TX and San Marcos, TX. In their Hope For Heroes program, they hope to provide necessary mental health care to Soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan AND family members. The Samaritan Center, recently received a $300,000 two-year grant from the Texas Resources for Iraq and Afghanistan Deployment (TRIAD) of the San Antonio Area Foundation. The grant is designed to allow Samaritan Center to send outreach counselors out to provide mental health services in homes, churches and other non-traditional settings for military families located in Williamson, Travis and Hays counties of Texas, at NO CHARGE.
This program is the first of it’s kind in the Austin-metro area. Even though the military is strongly encouraging servicemembers to seek help for these problems, often times, due to the stigma attached to seeking mental health services in the military and the fear by many servicemembers that if they do so, it will harm their military career, many servicemembers chose instead to not seek the help they need. The services that are provided by Samaritan Center are completely free to the servicemember and their family and the treatment and services are confidential.
I’m really excited about this program and the similar program at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas that I wrote about on November 15th. It’s great to see these community organizations becoming involved in ensuring that our returning Troops receive the care that they deserve and so desperately need.
Please take some time to visit the Samaritan Center’s website and learn more about their Hope For Heroes program.