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Southeast Mo. VA offers mental health care to veterans

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 10:46 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2021 at 12:19 AM CDT
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Poplar Bluff, Mo. (KFVS) - The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan is having a profound impact on veterans across the country including right here in the Heartland.

Leaders at the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center want veterans to know they are not alone.

The center’s clinical psychologist said the center is working to have a better understanding of how veterans may be feeling right now.

“Did my service really matter? The sacrifices I made, was it worth it,” said Amanda Wallace, clinical psychologist.

These are the kinds of tough questions coming into the VA Medical Center in Poplar Bluff.

“We’ve been getting calls, hearing them concerned how it may be triggering for some of them, for those that have PTSD,” said Wallace.

Wallace explained the mental health of servicemen and women is an increased worry right now.

“Any veteran, regardless of their discharge status or enrollment with VA, can walk in for crisis,” said Wallace.

As President Joe Biden talked about the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan on Monday, he acknowledged how painful these sights are for so many veterans.

“Those who have lost loved ones in Afghanistan and Americans who have fought and served in the country, served our county in Afghanistan, this is deeply, deeply personal,” said President Biden.

Wallace said photos and videos can trigger thoughts and flashbacks to someone’s own experiences of war.

“It’s not that is ever completely goes away and that they are not ever effected by it anymore. So, once they have the skills it much easier to manage and it doesn’t control their life,” said Wallace.

She admitted many veterans do not seek mental health treatment, and she encouraged family and friends to watch for changes in their behavior.

She said sometimes it’s just about having somebody listen.

“It takes a lot of courage to reach out for help and we want to be able to help,” said Wallace.

You can call the Poplar Bluff VA Medical Center at 573-686-4151 if you are a Veteran seeking mental health services.

Emergency mental health care is offered at any time.

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