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West Texas Centers will expand its care for people living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In addition to the weekly support group meetings held at the VA Hospital, West Texas Centers will host Peer to Peer meetings for men and women who have or believe they may have PTSD.
The meetings will also be open to family members, West Texas Centers CEO Shelley Smith said.
West Texas Centers will continue its partnership with the West Texas VA Health System in its "Bring Everyone in the Zone" or BEITZ program. BEITZ is a non-profit group that helps service members, veterans and their families get back "in the zone."
The group meets every Thursday night on the sixth floor of the VA Hospital. Wil Hoggard, West Texas Center's Veterans Liaison Officer, facilitates the meetings.
"This new program would be an extension of BEITZ," Smith said. "We have had a strong core of people who attend the weekly support group meetings at the VA, and we believe that we can reach even more people with peer to peer meetings."
West Texas Centers has a group of specially trained peer counselors to work with service members, spouses and children of all ages
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder usually occurs within three months of experiencing a traumatic event, but it can occur years later. Flashbacks and upsetting dreams regarding the traumatic event are a few of the signs of PTSD, along with anger, irritability, self-destructive behavior and trouble sleeping.
Many of the people who need assistance now for PTSD are male and female veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Smith said.
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