Jacksonville, FL

Military clinic offers caregiver programs to women veterans

Zoey Fields

Women combat veterans who find themselves in caregiver roles have the opportunity to attend a psychotherapy group where they can connect with others in similar roles–normalizing their experiences.

A Space to Breathe is a psychotherapy group available to post 9/11 women combat veterans is designed for caregivers in any role such as tending to sick loved ones, caring for children, parenting or working in caregiving careers.

The sessions began Feb. 24, 2022, but anyone interested in joining is encouraged to attend, Steven A. Cohen Military Clinic at Centerstone Office Manager Anna Batson said. The sessions run virtually from noon to 1:30 p.m. every Thursday, via Zoom.

To register for A Space to Breathe, click here.

The caregiver's group provides members opportunities to engage with other caregivers in a place where they can reconnect their interests and creative selves, as well as tap into new activities that they have never had the opportunity to experience and enjoy such as music, art, journaling and a sense of community, Clay County Public Information Officer Laura Christmas said in a press release.

“With it being more of an educational group, we do not go directly into treating trauma, but they will discuss coping skills and there will be time for open forum conversation for individuals to talk with one another,” Batson said.

The Space to Breathe program is supported by a grant from The Partnership: For Mental Health; a project of Baptist Health and the Dolores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund at the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

“The challenge of providing a fully responsive mental health ecosystem in our community calls for new levels of ingenuity,” said Delores Barr Weaver, formerly chairman and CEO of the Jaguars Foundation. “This partnership is also a way to bring new awareness to issues, which will help eliminate the stigma around mental illness and signal that many entities care deeply about the well-being of citizens in Northeast Florida.”

In addition to the caregiver group, the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone also offers a “Welcome to Parenthood” course, beginning June 21, for veterans who are in search of suggestions and ideas to assist all family dynamics.

Course enrollment is free and sessions will run for six weeks virtually, via Zoom. Veteran parents who are new to parenthood, as well as those who already have children, but feel they could use extra assistance, are all encouraged to sign up, Batson said.

To sign up for the virtual Welcome to Parenthood session, click here.

The Steven A. Cohen Military Clinic at Centerstone is a nonprofit organization sparked by billionaire hedge-fund investor, Steven A. Cohen, who pledged $275 million to create a national network of free mental health clinics for military veterans and their families, Bloomberg reported.

The organization is based out of Connecticut and has walk-in clinics in Jacksonville, Clarksville, Tenn. and Fayetteville, North Carolina. Virtual services via Zoom are also offered.

“We bill insurance when we can, but for those who feel their co-pay might be a barrier to their care, we offer them additional funding through our Cohen Compensated Care Fund to eliminate those barriers,” Batson said.

The Cohen Compensated Care Fund acts as additional funding for mental healthcare for military veteran’s and their families, if they feel they cannot afford services on their own.

The organization is open to all veterans and family members, children included. Those actively serving in the military are also cared for at the clinic, but must have Tricare verification as prior authorization.

For additional programs offered at the Steven A. Cohen Military Clinic at Centerstone, click here.

Military veteran women can sign up for A Space to Breathe; an initiative to encourage community and caregiving.Mark Edward Atkinson/Tracey Lee via Getty Images

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Jacksonville, FL

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