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Orlando Clinic Treating Vets With PTSD Seeks Funding

The University of Central Florida offers antibody testing on campus.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A clinic at the University of Central Florida helping veterans with PTSD is seeking funds to stay open. Dr. Deborah Beidel started the clinic with a Defense Department grant in 2011.

Her task was to develop a treatment program and see if it works. It did.

“After treatment, 67 percent of the veterans and active duty personnel that we’ve treated no longer have a diagnosis of PTSD,” Beidel says.

That number is better than treatment numbers reported by the Veterans Administration, she says.

Each year the RESTORES clinic treats about a hundred veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to overcome PTSD. That includes homeless veterans and those referred from veterans courts.

They come from across Florida and 15 other states.

The Defense Department grant only covers veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, but Beidel gets requests from veterans of other wars and first responders.

The DOD grant runs out May 1, and Beidel wants to continue the program and expand its coverage.

So far, she’s received a $1 million donation to create an endowment. She’s seeking more funding to run the operation that costs $400,000 a year.

Catherine Welch is news director at Rhode Island Public Radio. Before her move to Rhode Island in 2010, Catherine was news director at WHQR in Wilmington, NC. She was also news director at KBIA in Columbia, MO where she was a faculty member at the University Of Missouri School Of Journalism. Catherine has won several regional Edward R. Murrow awards and awards from the Public Radio News Directors Inc., New England AP, North Carolina Press Association, Missouri Press Association, and Missouri Broadcasters Association.