At 9 a.m.: Day 5 of Public Impeachment Hearings

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    New program tries to reach military families

    Many soldiers returning from war struggle with mental health issues but are reluctant to seek treatment. The Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center is launching a new program that enlists the help of family members in getting vets into care.

    Many soldiers returning from war struggle with mental health issues but are reluctant to seek treatment. The Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center is launching a new program that enlists the help of family members in getting vets into care.

    Listen:

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    Pennsylvania and New Jersey guard members recently returned in large numbers from Iraq and Afghanistan. Reaching out directly to their family members marks a new approach for the VA. Dr. Steven Sayers, who heads “Families at Ease,” says the outreach program opens new lines of communication for concerned family members:

    Sayers: Some of our veterans are very much used to the combat situation and are having difficulty readjusting their approach to their world and the family members see that difference, and we try to help family members usher the veteran into care

    VA staff will approach military families at events, and family members can call a hotline to get advice, or in case of crisis situations. Experts at the National Military Family Association say families know the returning soldier best, and often notice things that mental health professionals might not be aware of.

    For more information about Families At Ease, contact the call center toll-free at 1-877-823-5261.

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