Thresholds offers services for veterans with PTSD

To meet the demands of the growing number of veterans with mental illness, Thresholds, Chicago's largest mental health agency has a program that is making a difference.
February 8, 2014 7:14:35 AM PST
To meet the demands of the growing number of veterans with mental illness, Thresholds, Chicago's largest mental health agency has a program that is making a difference.

Research shows that 1 in 5 veterans who served in the Middle East wars suffered from PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or major depression.

Thresholds veterans project, located on Chicago's North Side, is giving those homeless, hopeless and helpless a second chance.

" We have served veterans probably for over 50 years since we were founded," said Mark Ishaug, CEO. "But we decided in 2010 that we needed a specific program."

The program currently serves 100 to 140 vets. Services provided range from case management to health care.

Program Director Lydia Zopf says housing is the number one request.

"A lot of veterans come to us without income and without a home, and we help them get back into housing, and we help them establish income," Zopf said.

Most of the project staff are former veterans. Community Support Specialist Shenetta Wilson served in the Army.

"I think being in the military does make it easier to understand and related to members, veterans members," Wilson said.

Jennifer McCarter is a former Marine.

"I entered right after high school in 2001. Actually, 9/11 happened while I was in boot camp," McCarter said. "Went to Iraq for the first time and came back in '05. I went to Iraq for a whole year, came back at the end of '08, and my career ended in '09."

"They diagnosed me with PTSD," she added.

Jennifer was hospitalized for over seven months.

"While I was there, I was searching for some programs to help me out when I got out, and I came across Thresholds," she said. "They made sure that I was getting my life on track, helping me get some goals and also help me get to the goals." "We have a lot of veterans that we've served who have been really successful in the program, and they've told their veterans friends about us, and they've come to us for help," Zopf said.

In addition, they also have a women veterans health initiative program.

For more information go to www.thresholds.org


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