Area veterans organize program to help others with PTSD

Veterans Voices

BELLWOOD, Pa. (WTAJ) – Suicide in our veteran population is an ongoing concern. A new program in the area is designed to help those coping with PTSD and other needs.

Wes Harpster and Paul Engleman are veterans starting up a program called Reboot Recovery in Bellwood, Blair County. It’s a faith-based recovery course designed to help those who suffered trauma in the military.

They are looking to find other veterans to help out with their cause. Engleman explains why this is an important action.

“Why I’m involved with this is, 30 percent of veterans come back from active duty meeting criteria for trauma, commonly referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Paul Engleman- Assistant Director, Veteran’s outreach

Veterans have about 1.5 times the suicide rate of civilians, according to a 2019 annual report released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Statistics for veterans, are that 22 veterans commit suicide every day, a lot is due to trauma they experienced while serving in military, they come home and they’re fighting a war, a personal war.

Wes Harpster- dir veteran outreach military families ministry- reboot recovery

Included in this program is a 12-week course that can be taken virtually, or as an in-person option at the Hope Center in Bellwood. It is aimed to help veterans cope and heal their wounds.

“If you’re a veteran, there’s help out there. This course isn’t intended to replace treatment, but give you methods of coping,” explained Harpster.

Engleman added, “It is a group of people with similar experiences so we can relate to each other, support each other, like the military has taught us to do, rely on team, rely on shipmates.”

Reboot recovery is a free course, it starts September 1. It will run every week from 6-8 p.m.

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