Veterans in North Texas are about to receive some expanded services for those dealing with PTSD and other mental health issues. The facility -- to be located in Denton -- has been in the works for years.
The issue for many veterans in the Denton area who need such treatment through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, say advocates, is that while there are services, they're limited. Many have to drive to Dallas to seek treatment.
"Sometimes that post-traumatic stress is induced by roadside bombs, IED's, and the drive to Dallas to the VA hospital can be very traumatic for them," said Chris Martin, president of the Denton County Veterans Coalition, which provides guidance to veterans seeking a variety of services.
Veterans advocates think they've found a solution, one which could help as many as 10,000 veterans. The Veterans Coalition has found space right next door to its South Carroll Street offices, for a new treatment clinic. The search has taken three years. Martin says the VA didn't have the funds for a new facility, but was willing to provide treatment professionals if they could secure the space. When it opens in a few weeks, the center will house psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists – who will see veterans dealing with PTSD and other behavioral health issues.
Advocates say many times, the challenge begins with encouraging veterans who need help – to go out and seek it.
"Veterans are proud," said Martin. "Sometimes they don't want to ask for help."
The new treatment center needs some work. The Veterans Coalition is seeking volunteers to help with interior work this weekend. Work will be conducted on the building both Saturday and Sunday.
For Martin, a thirty year army veteran, the new facility is a blessing. One which fills a great need.