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Program treating veterans affected by COVID-19, PTSD making impact

Approximately 60 veterans are currently enrolled, and more are enrolling regularly.


A program aimed at helping Alabama veterans impacted by COVID-19 who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is having an impact, according to the nonprofit’s leadership. 

Gov. Kay Ivey on Nov. 24 approved $1.9 million in CARES Act funds to the Birmingham nonprofit Priority Soldier Inc. to run a four-week virtual group therapy session for veterans suffering from PTSD. Approximately 60 veterans are currently enrolled, and more are enrolling regularly, according to a press release from Ivey’s office. 

The 11 counties served include Montgomery, Madison, Dallas, Tuscaloosa, Coffee, Macon, Calhoun, Talladega, Lauderdale, Lowndes and Walker.

The program, led by licensed psychologists and counselors who specialize in treating veterans with combat-related PTSD, leads veterans in virtual meetings three times a week for 60-minute sessions in groups of three to five, according to the release. 

“Veterans enrolled in the Priority Soldier program have stated that the stress of PTSD and COVID-19 is eased by talking to people who understand their military experience and how it affects the way they cope in these difficult times,” said Ken Phillips, CEO of Priority Solider, in a statement. 

“The program is tailored to meet the needs of the specific vets in each group, allowing positive change in areas as diverse as marital communications, depression, anxiety and insomnia. Priority Soldier is delighted to partner with Governor Ivey and the state of Alabama on this important project and appreciate the state’s continued support of Alabama’s veterans,” Phillips said. 

Ivey in a statement said veterans who have sacrificed so much defending our freedom, are due our gratitude and complete and total support. 

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“Alabama will never leave a man or woman behind, especially those who have worn the uniform and continue to struggle to treat their PTSD during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ivey said. “I am proud to support the work of Priority Solider and encourage Alabama veterans needing their support to take advantage of this program. Even during what has been an extremely challenging year, we must always look out for those who have looked out for our country.”

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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