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New grant money awarded to Jefferson County PTSD programs

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Two organizations that support military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder will split $185,000 in special state funding announced Thursday afternoon.

The programs receiving the funding, which was approved earlier this week, will be the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program for Veterans, based at State Street, Watertown, and River Hospital’s River Community Wellness Program in Alexandria Bay.

“This funding means a lot to us,” Ben Moore III, the hospital’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “It allows us to make sure we can continue to provide the vital services of River Hospital to the community and the soldiers of Fort Drum.”

Charles Coulter, veteran outreach coordinator for the peer support program, said in a statement that the new funds will help continue its mission working with veterans.

“This center has been an invaluable tool for the veterans in our community and this funding will allow us to continue to keep helping them,” his statement read.

The funding was announced in a news release sent out by state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton.

“The brave men and women who serve our country are such a huge part of our community here in the North Country, and that’s why it’s so critical that we have resources available to them to help them cope with the transition when they return home from serving overseas,” her statement read.

The senator’s release cited recent studies that found that 6 to 12.5 percent of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from PTSD, and 62 percent have received some level of mental health care after coming home.

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