FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Putnam County Executive
July 19, 2013
Peer-to-Peer Vet Counseling Coming to Putnam
You are cordially invited to attend a press conference at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 1 with County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Director of Veteran Services Karl Rhode as the announcement is made that the Pfc. Joseph Dwyer Peer-to-Peer Veterans Counseling program is coming to Putnam. The press conference will be held at Spain Cornerstone Park on Fair Street in Carmel. Also present will be Thomas Ronayne, director of the Suffolk County Veterans Service Agency.
The program, named for an Army private who committed suicide in 2008, is run for veterans by veterans. The program provides “peer-to-peer” counseling between veterans who personally understand the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
“A handful of counties in New York already have this program,” said Odell. “It is vital that we, too, have a program like this so our veterans can learn to understand just what PTSD and TBI are and can do. Working with their peers who have the shared experience of dealing with these disorders will undoubtedly aide our veterans in their recovery.”
“Peer-to-peer counseling for veterans is a vital tool to help them help themselves,” said Rohde. “It is exciting that Putnam will now be able to implement such an important program to help our veterans and their families cope with the invisible wounds of war.”
Since its inception in last year’s NYS budget, the program has been operating successfully in the four test counties: Suffolk, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Jefferson.