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'I've been clean now for over a year' | Local veteran credits Memphis VA for PTSD recovery

Freedom is not free; for many Mid-South veterans, the work doesn't end when they return home. Resources are available to help you heal.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD affects millions of veterans.

The Mayo Clinic defines it as "a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event, either experiencing it or witnessing it. 

Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts" among others. 

The Memphis VA Medical Center is a safe space, working to heal our local vets.

Dr. Rita Eileen Todd is the Suicide Prevention Coordinator within the mental health program.

She said, "The overarching goal with PTSD work is to make sure that we are enhancing and improving the quality of life of our veterans."

Kenneth Rushing, a Vietnam War veteran, is living proof that the program is changing lives.

He said, "I had a head injury, where I have a seizure disorder and it’s [the program] helped me to understand myself a lot better, by talking about it." 

He says talking it out, addressing it head on has also helped him overcome substance abuse in the midst of a pandemic.

Rushing said, "I've been clean now for over a year.”

If you or a veteran you love is struggling, reach out to the Memphis VA to discuss which service will work best for you, and if you have concerns about COVID19 the VA has several virtual options to fit your specific needs.  

Call 901-523-8990 to talk about your options, or click here for resources. 

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