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Monroe County Receives Grant To Start A Peer-To-Peer Veterans Program

Jun 15, 2015

Credit monroecounty.gov

Monroe County is embarking on a new program to help area veterans. It uses the relationship between vets to help them get through various issues.

It's called the "PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program,” and it's named after an Army veteran from downstate who took his own life after returning from Iraq and suffering post-traumatic stress.

Monroe County has  received a $185,000 state grant to help set up the program which will be administered with the help of Compeer, the local organization that provides mental health and other services.

Laura Stradley, who heads up the county's Veterans Service Agency, says the grant will help vets help each other.

"We’re going to be finding ways to bring vets together through those supportive friendships in a one-on-one setting. Also through some group sessions and through the creation of a kind of an internet cafe type of facility here within our building, where we're going to have a bunch of computers and vets can come in and do social networking."

Stradley says the level of services the veterans may need covers a wide range of issues.

"You could be a vet who came back and you're doing just fine with re-integration, but maybe you're not really from Rochester and you don't know people and you just kind of want to get connected in with some of the veterans in the area, or you could be somebody who has a clinical diagnosis, it could be anywhere on that spectrum of reasons why one vet might want to connect with another one."

And Stradley says it's not just veterans who have returned after serving in recent conflicts. She says veterans of  Vietnam, Korea and World War two can still have issues with feeling lonely and isolated.