A U.S. soldier walks near the scene of a suicide...

A U.S. soldier walks near the scene of a suicide attack in Kandahar south of Kabul, Afghanistan. A teenage suicide bomber slipped inside police headquarters, detonating explosives and wounding one officer, the chief of the headquarters said. (Jan. 11, 2012) Credit: AP

Nassau County’s Veterans Service Agency is preparing for the expected return of local troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan by increasing its post-traumatic stress disorder services and resources.

The agency has partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Mental Health Association of Nassau County and the Veterans Health Alliance of Long Island to offer a number of free programs for veterans suffering with PTSD.

Counselors can help returning vets fill out and submit benefits claims, assist in suicide prevention cases and provide substance abuse treatment and mental health services.
“With a large number of heroes returning from serving overseas, we must ensure that veterans have all the information they and their families need to access Nassau County’s programs and services as effortlessly as possible,” said Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano.

The Northport VA Medical Center has treated 934 Nassau and Suffolk residents with PTSD and another 313 with traumatic brain injury, Mangano’s office said. An unknown number suffer from depression.

A list of services for returning vets is available at www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/CountyExecutive/NewsRelease/2012/5-1-2012b.html.

Above: A U.S. soldier walks near the scene of a suicide attack in Kandahar, south of Kabul, Afghanistan. (Jan. 11, 2012)