Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center opens new mental health suite

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BONHAM, TX -- As more and more veterans are diagnosed with PTSD, getting help has become vital to their health, even survival.
The Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center has just opened up a new mental health outpatient clinic to offer more services to veterans who need them and who might be hesitant to seek help.

The new suite at the medical center in Bonham offers more space and privacy, something officials say will be beneficial to veterans with mental health disorders.

They say they've seen an increase in veterans and now that they have more space, they believe more will come forward for help.

Veterans will now have a new facility to help them through the challenges some say are even tougher than combat.

The Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center opened a new mental health suite complete with more than 20 offices, giving officials more space to offer more services.

"Individual and group therapy for veterans dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, substance abuse disorder and addiction, and then areas that the VA call seriously mentally ill," says Dr. Steven Bender, clinical director of the mental health services.

He says they've seen a dramatic increase in veterans suffering with mental health disorders over the past few years.

So many, that they ran out of space to treat them.

The waiting room also didn't provide enough privacy.

"For many of them they didn't feel comfortable coming, they felt that others might see that they're here, and they were obviously just bothered frankly by the noise," Bender said.

Jerry Wrenn is a Vietnam Veteran who suffers from PTSD.

He says the change of scenery and privacy can make a big difference.

"If we're sitting in a room and there was nobody around or distractions, then I can concentrate 100 percent on you and interact like that, and not have to focus on who's coming through the door, who's coming down the hall," Wrenn said.

Wrenn also helps other veterans with PTSD and says support is always there for those who need it.

"You have to reach out when things get bad," Wrenn said. "We do what we have to do because we've walked the walk and we don't want anyone else to do it."

If you are a veteran or know one who may want support or help, contact the Sam Rayburn Memorial Veteran Center at

The American Legion Post 231

Vietnam Veterans of America

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