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A homecoming ceremony at Fort Drum. NCPR file photo
A homecoming ceremony at Fort Drum. NCPR file photo

SUNY-Fort Drum program to train those on the "front lines" with returning soldiers

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A new program from SUNY Oswego is looking to train people who work with Fort Drum's soldiers in the basics of mental health and counseling. It's starting with a course that's being taught right now at Fort Drum, "Trauma management and stewardship."

Fort Drum is home to the 10th Mountain Division, one of the most heavily deployed units in the US. When those soldiers return home from overseas, they can suffer from a range of physical and mental problems connected to their service, like post-traumatic stress disorder, mental issues associated with bodily injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.

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Reported by

Nora Flaherty
Digital Editor, News

Michael LeBlanc is chair of counseling and psychological services at SUNY Oswego. He says although the military offers mental health care for returning soldiers, it's important that people who aren't counselors have some training, too:

"There's also a lot of people who deal with these veterans and their families on a day-to-day basis, people like chaplains who are not professional mental health workers, but they are trying to help the vets and their families function and go back to normal. They're not professionals in the sense that they have all this training, but they do need knowledge and understanding of what it is they're facing and dealing with day to day."

"Trauma management and stewardship" is the first of several graduate-level courses SUNY Oswego will offer.

LeBlanc says he hopes the training his department is giving will help supplement what the army provides, and help to fill a need for trained mental health workers in the Watertown area.

You can hear Nora Flaherty's full conversation with Michael LeBlanc by clicking on our "listen" button above.

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