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Veterans Affected By Hurricane Harvey Can Get Free PTSD Treatment In San Antonio

Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.
This file photo shows an aerial view of the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, Aug. 31, 2017. Hurricane Harvey formed in the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall in southeastern Texas, bringing record flooding and destruction to the region

Veterans in the Texas Gulf Coast area can receive a three-week, intensive-outpatient treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder in San Antonio at no cost, thanks to a grant that pays for therapy, travel and lodging.

Funding for the program, called Project Remission, was made possible by the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the Qatar Harvey Fund

“Through our work in the region, we’ve learned that storm recovery isn’t just about property damage. Ensuring mental health and wellness is one of the most important things we can do,” said Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the U.S.

Up to 40 veterans will receive Prolonged Exposure therapy — a leading treatment — from therapists with the STRONG STAR Consortium based at UT Health San Antonio.

Dr. Alan Peterson, the consortium's director, explained that natural disasters can cause PTSD symptoms or make them worse. 

“It's not uncommon that someone may have deployed may have had may have developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from that,” he said. “Then going through a natural disaster like a hurricane — and the devastation of that — is enough to tip the scales, if you will. So a person may become symptomatic.”

In order to qualify, veterans must have served in the post-9/11 era and lived in one of the 41 Texas counties hit by Harvey. 

Treatments will begin in January and continue over the following 10 months. 

For additional information or to inquire about participation, veterans can visit www.strongstar.org/IOP-GulfCoast.

Carson Frame can be reached at Carson@TPR.org and on Twitter at @carson_frame.

Carson Frame was Texas Public Radio's military and veterans' issues reporter from July 2017 until March 2024.