WXXI AM News

Veterans organization urges vets to seek help if Vietnam documentary triggers difficult memories

Sep 20, 2017

Credit freeimages.com/Thomas Pate

The Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary "The Vietnam War", which debuted on WXXI-TV this week, could trigger symptoms for some veterans who suffer from PTSD, depression, or other conditions.

"A series like this, certainly for the Vietnam generation could maybe inadvertently provoke some of those memories they haven't really deal with in a long time," said Laura Stradley, executive director at the Veterans Outreach Center. "We want any veteran who experiences any of the difficulty associated with those memories to come in and see us and we can put our arms around them and get them services as quickly as possible.”

The Veterans Crisis Line, which operates at the Canandaigua VA and takes calls from veterans and active U.S. military members around the world, had a 7 and 11 percent increase in calls, respectively, this past Sunday and Monday compared to Sunday and Monday averages in the past year. 

Veterans can contact the crisis line at 1-800-273-8255 to speak with a counselor and get immediate assistance if they need help coping with any new events in their lives. The crisis line also recommends that veterans visit the webpage Acts of Violence, Terrorism, or War: Triggers for Veterans to get tips and information. 

Stradley adds that the documentary series could also have a healing effect as it serves as a reminder to military veterans that although they may feel isolated and misunderstood, they are not alone; there are others who went through the same traumatic experiences.

The Veterans Outreach Center offers a variety of services for all local veterans, ranging from clinical therapy to a peer support group known as the Battle Buddies program.

"It's veterans working with other veterans establishing that camaraderie that can sometimes really almost transcend some of the elements of working with somebody in a more clinical nature," Stradley said.