Open House Planned For Miami Area LGBT Veterans

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LGBT Veterans have a chance to network and gain health-related support next week.

An open house hosted by VFW Post 8195 is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 5. The program begins at 7 p.m. at the Stone of Hope Military Outreach and Wellness Center, 4432 Pembroke Road, West Park, Florida 33021. The Miami Foundation is sponsoring the open house.

“In partnership with the National LGBTQ Task Force, our GLBT Community Projects Fund has proudly supported initiatives benefitting the local LGBTQ community for over a decade,” said Victoria Fear, programs officer at The Miami Foundation. “VFW Post 8195 has identified a critical need in the North Miami and south Broward communities. By providing a safe place to get help for PTSD, mental illnesses and other needs, they will foster bonds between LGBTQ veterans and improve their connection to our broader community.”

Speakers include Dr. Naomi Cobb, mental health counselors Bobby White and Ron Fazio, and social worker David Pirola. White served overseas as a staff sergeant for the U.S. Army’s fourth infantry division. He was deployed to Vietnam for the war in 1969. He has worked for 32 years at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) has greatly affected our veterans community,” White said.

The National Institute of Mental Health defines PTSD as a disorder that “can develop after exposure to a potentially traumatic event that is beyond a typical stressor.” Combat, natural or human caused disasters, violent personal assaults or other forms of violence may lead to PTSD, according to the NIMH.

Next week’s program is intended to offer coping strategies and techniques for dealing with PTSD. Psychotherapy and group sessions can be helpful, White said, as can acupuncture and massage.

For more information, contact Sgt. White at 954-987-6089.

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