VA opens local center for veterans to combat PTSD, suicide

Since 2001 roughly 6800 American Soldiers have been killed in action.  Over that same time, more than 112,000 veterans have taken their own lives.

To save lives the Marion VA opened a new $8.3 million dollar mental health facility today.

For Marine veteran Gino Greganti, living without the Corps was one of the hardest adjustments of his life.

"When you're active you have a band of brothers,” said Greganti.  “When you get out, regardless of whether or not you went through anything traumatic, you don't have that band of brothers all of a sudden and you have a sense of loss."

Over time Greganti developed PTSD, which affects 30% of American veterans.

"There wasn't a lot of talk about PTSD when I got out,” said Greganti.  “I just knew I was having problems."

Dr. Arlene Miksanek says she hopes the new Behavioral Health Center will provide some hope for our American heroes.

"I believe that we really don't have healthcare in this country unless we have mental healthcare,” said Dr. Miksanek.  “People can get better."

Dr. Miksanek says the new 26,000 sq. ft. facility has allowed the VA to hire more staff and expand services for mental health, suicide prevention, and healthcare for homeless veterans. 

You can even change a life yourself by providing a free hug.

"It's okay to not be okay,” said Greganti.  “There are people out there for you."

By growing their support staff to more than 60 full time employees the Marion VA Behavioral Health Center is attempting to provide 24/7 help to vets in need.

For more information on the Marion VA Medical Center, and a full list of services provided at the new Behavioral Health center, click here.

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