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News Topic: Mental Health

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced new steps it is taking to reduce Veteran suicide.

The Power of 1: Your actions could save a life

One small act can make a difference in the life of a Veteran in crisis.

Decades after the end of the U.S. war in Vietnam, more than one in 10 American veterans from the conflict still experience at least some symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, according to a new study.

One third of veterans with PTSD also suffer from major depressive disorder, the research team reports in JAMA Psychiatry.

Some troubled Los Angeles veterans are getting help through an unlikely source: orphaned parrots.

The West L.A. campus of the Department of Veterans Affairs has an exotic-bird rescue facility on its sprawling 387-acre campus. It houses 21 aviaries with nearly 40 parrots that are part of a unique animal-assisted therapy program for veterans coping with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, alcoholism and other ailments.

The Feathered Friends program at the VA Medical Center gives veterans a chance to work through their issues by caring for orphaned exotic birds.

Soldiers Share Experiences
January 12, 2014 6:00 am  •  By Brian Gehring

Stephen Herda didn’t think anything had changed, much less himself.

Even after he was wounded in a rocket attack in Iraq in 2007, Herda said, he considered himself to be the same man when he returned home to Mandan.

Others noticed a change.

“I’m pretty much an open book, if you want to read it,” Herda said.

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