• Heroes at Home
    Heroes at Home

    PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program Serving Veterans and their Families in Rensselaer County is a New York State funded project dedicated to ensuring a healthy and successful reintegration for all members of the military and their loved ones by addressing issues related to post traumatic stress; building resiliency, fostering hope and encouraging connectedness; and reducing stigma and preventing suicide.

  • Do you have . . .
    Do you have . . .

    . . . the strength of a warrior, the courage of a fighter, the heart of a hero? We are looking for Veterans and family members who are willing to share their own experiences and offer support to others in a confidential, non-judgmental relationship.

    More information and application
Text Size

Reconnection Workshop: Reuniting, Rebuilding and Reconnecting for Military Families

Today's Service Members are facing repeated deployments.  Heroes at Home is proud to host Reconnection Workshops, developed by the American Red Cross, to help families through the reintegration process.

Some of the challenges facing military families include:  readjusting to new roles, reconnecting with maturing children, redefining family routines, and managing long-term physical and psychological challenges associated with deployment. 

The entire Reconnection Workshop series includes five sessions, each addressing a different topic.  Participants can attend all sessions or only a few.  Workshops are free of charge and open to all active-duty Service Members, Veterans or family members.

March 13th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm - Communicating Clearly 

March 20th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm - Relating to Children

April 3rd from 6:30 to 8:30 pm - Working Through Anger

April 17th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm - Identifying Depression

April 24th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm - Exploring Stress and Trauma

Location - North Greenbush American Legion, 111 Main Avenue, Wynantskill

A light dinner will be provided.  

For more information and to register, click HERE.

Getting Help for PTSD

Men and women who have served in the Military, are a greater risk of developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder than the general population. According to the National Center for PTSD, approximately 30% of Vietnam Veterans and between 10-20% of Gulf War and OEF/OIF Veterans experience symptoms of PTSD. Symptoms include reliving the traumatic event (through nightmares or flashbacks), irritability and anger, difficulty concentrating, withdrawing from people or activities that normally bring pleasure, or feeling "jumpy" and startle easily.

If you are concerned that you or a loved one might be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, please consider being evaluated by a professional. The PTSD Program at Stratton VA Medical Center is an excellent resource, providing both an assessment and on-going treatment for Veterans and their caregivers. You will need to be enrolled at the VA. If you are not already a patient, click here for enrollment information. If you already have a primary care provider at the VA, the process to obtain an assessment and receive treatment is outlined below:

1) Contact your primary care provider, mental health provider, or call the Stratton VA PTSD Program directly at (518) 626-5436. Explain your concerns, providing as much information as possible, including the symptoms you are experiencing, how long you have had these problems, are they increasing in frequency or intensity, and do they impact your daily living. Request a PTSD consultation.

2) The PTSD Program Intake Coordinator will review the information provided at time of referral. Staff from the Albany VA Behavioral Health Careline will call you to set up an appointment for an intake appointment/screening evaluation. Typically, appointments are scheduled within two weeks.

3) Typically, the scheduling staff will make multiple efforts to contact you once a referral has been made. Sometimes, people struggling with PTSD think that they will get better on their own or they don't want to think about their trauma. Its not uncommon for people with a mental illness to avoid getting the care that they need but help is available and treatment really does work. To learn more, click here.

4) If you are experiencing too much anxiety, not sleeping, have concerns about your safety and cannot wait the two weeks, you can go to either the Behavioral Health walk-in clinic (10th floor) or the Emergency Room at Stratton VA. The Walk-in clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 3 pm. You should expect to wait a few hours and its best to get there early in the day.

Most importantly, if you are having thoughts of suicide at any time, you can call the VA Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

There are several phone numbers for Behavioral Health Programs at the Stratton VA: (518) 626-5339, 5340, 5342, or 5386. For more information about the Stratton VA PTSD Program, or to contact the program directly, please call (518)626-5436.

We also invite you to contact Heroes at Home to be connected with a Peer Support Volunteer. Our trained volunteers have experience with PTSD and treatment, and can provide support to you as you learn to cope with your trauma and navigate the treatment process. Contact Joel Abelove, Director of Peer Support at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Veterans Self-Check Quiz

Are you or someone you care about experiencing problems with sleeping, eating, increased drug or alcohol use, anxiety or depression? Are you having difficulty coping with combat related trauma, reintegration or relationships?  The Veterans Crisis Line has a new feature, the Veterans Self-Check Quiz, that can help you gain a better understanding of how stress or trauma is affecting you or your loved one.  The check list takes about 10 minutes and a trained counselor will review your responses and provide options for follow-up that may be helpful.  They are also available to engage in an anonymous, on-line chat if you have any questions or want to further discuss your options.  Only a doctor or mental health professional can diagnose Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other mental health issues.  However, if you or a loved one are experiencing problems that affect your daily living, this checklist can help you better understand your experiences and feelings, and connect you with a helping professional.  

We are currently recruiting for Peer Support Volunteers

Do you haveā€¦ the strength of a warrior, the courage of a fighter, the heart of a hero? We are looking for Veterans and family members who are willing to share their own experiences and offer support to others in a confidential, non-judgmental relationship.

Peer mentors provide:

  • one-on-one support to others seeking assistance
  • information about helpful resources, including VA and non-VA resources
  • a positive connection to a "community of care"

Peer Support Volunteers do not act as counselors. They will receive training in recognizing symptoms of PTSD, as well as identifying and reviewing suicide risk. Peer Volunteers will be provided with post-meeting supervision to maintain a level of safety and comfort for both themselves and the person seeking support.

To complete an application, click HERE.  If you have any questions about becoming a peer mentor, Contact Joel Abelove, Director of Peer Support or call 518.279.7861.