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Peer Group Orange County- PTSD

December 5, 2012

I have recently started doing volunteer with the VA County of Orange, California.  The program is called the Peer Group and it is in response to a grant received from the Federal Government to see the effects of peer groups on returning servicemen and women.  They have found that many people come to the VA for services and go through several steps to find out what they are qualified to receive and then do not follow through.

Why is this a problem anyway?  The average person would think that if something is available that you simply would complete the steps necessary to receive the benefits allowed but this doesn’t seem to be the case.

One veteran I interviewed had come to the offices of the VA 4 separate times, sat in his car in the parking lot for a few minutes, and then went home, never speaking with anyone.

Of course with government programs there is a lot of red tape but I don’t think this is really the problem.  I think that a big part of the problem is the effects of PTSD on the lives of these people.

With PTSD, the World sometimes seems too overwhelming because of the depression that almost always accompanies PTSD.  Adding any additional requirements to a PTSD person’s life just seems monumental.  The easiest thing is to crawl back to a previous point and eliminate the complications.  In other words, to give up and find an easier way which always is to do nothing.

The Peer group that I am associated with, will work closely with these VA offices 4 separate time, sat in his car for several minutes in the parking lot then left and returned home

We, the Peer will be working with group PTSD people and help them with the details to enter them into the VA system.  That includes meetings with them, telephone calls and basically being a mentor, friend, and ally to help move the process along.  To get the help that is being offered to help them takes an additional effort that we may be able to supply.

I am excited to be able to give back.  Hopefully I can bring my life skills and experiences with PTSD to benefit those who are at a different stage in life.