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New Fayetteville mental health clinic offers another option for veterans

A new mental health clinic that supports veterans and their families opened Tuesday in Fayetteville.

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A new mental health clinic that supports veterans and their families opened Tuesday in Fayetteville.

The Cohen Clinic was brought about by a partnership between the Cape Fear Valley Health System and a billionaire whose son is a Marine who served in Afghanistan. It's the sixth facility in its country-wide network.

About 20 percent of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

The clinic will focus on helping military veterans heal from the mental pains they face and go on to lead healthy and happy lives. Families and friends, including children, of those who have served can also receive services.

Clinic officials guarantee little to no cost and short wait times.

"What makes this clinic even more special is that we have outreach workers that are veterans, that go out into the community and work with other organizations," said Dr. Anthony Hassan, CEO of the Cohen Veterans Network. "We have a case manager here to make sure that the whole list of needs of the veteran and family members are met."

Sgt. Kyle White served in Afghanistan and is a Medal of Honor recipient. He's been traveling across teh country with the Cohen Veterans Network as the work to open 25 clinics by 2019.

So far, 38 percent of the 3,300 patients seen at the clinics are family members.

"The families share a lot of that hardship when their loved ones are deployed. You know, they're sharing those highs and those lows and then they're dealing with those service members when they come home and, if they recognize that there's a problem, you know it's something that has to be treated as a family."

Doc Todd, a former Naval Corpsmen who served in Afghanistan, knows that fact all too well. He paid for his mental health treatment out of his own pocked after losing his best friend and 13 others on the battlefield.

Todd has also lost battle buddies who have taken their own lives.

"Seventy percent of the veteran suicides that take place are individuals that never interacted with the VA, so to have another option for care is just unbelievable," he said.

Fayetteville is the first North Carolina location for a Cohen Clinic, but there is already discussion about opening another in Jacksonville near Camp Lejeune.


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