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Fayetteville clinic aims to help vets, families cope with PTSD

Posted March 1

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— Post-traumatic stress disorder is known as a service member's silent wound. It not only impacts the person who served, but family and friends as well.

Cape Fear Valley Heath and The Cohen Veterans Network announced plans Wednesday to open the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic, a new mental health clinic for area veterans and their families.

The clinic at Cape Fear Valley will offer comprehensive mental healthcare, at low or no-cost, to veterans and their families coping with the invisible wounds of war.

Steven A. Cohen is a billionaire whose son was a Marine. He returned from Afghanistan and told his father he could help a large number of fellow service members if he duplicated the mental health clinic he operates in New York.

"The focus is on those who served in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Red Dawn," said John Bigger, corporate behavioral health director.

The Fayetteville clinic will be Cohen's seventh across the country.

"There is no doubt that (Fort Bragg) has been the tip of the spear and they've deployed, and families have been affected," said Anthony Hassan, CEO of the Cohen Veterans Network. "We just know there is a demand there."

The clinic is set to open on June 19, and will have a full staff of mental health experts.

"They will be able to see a psychologist, licensed clinical social workers, substance abuse counselors, case managers...the full spectrum of mental health care," Bigger said.

Cohen launched his network of clinics by pledging $275 million.

"It is not easy just to treat the veteran and then not treat the family system, or to support a spouse but not be able to treat a veteran. So, we believe in the system's approach," Cohen said.

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