Help Heal Veterans recovery support with crafts

KING 5's Amity Addrisi reports.

It's an effort to heal one veteran at a time, with a little bit of handiwork.

National non-profit Help Heal Vets started as a way to help returning Vietnam veterans back in 1971, and it's growing.

It's original name, Help Hospitalized Veterans was changed to reflect the current need.

"My doctor said for stimulation for the PTSD you can start doing crafts and things like that instead of drinking and doing other things.  So it's helped a lot. You have good people working here,” said a veteran who works on craft projects.

The organization is focused on helping all veterans, especially those suffering from the invisible wounds of war.

"You'll hear somebody talk about how it's helped them to stay calm instead of being anxious," said Trish Alger, a craft specialist with Help Heal Veterans.

The statistics are staggering with up to 22 veterans committing suicide a day.

"I’m coming over on my lunch break to grab something to work on tonight.  Great therapy for me," said Sy Neal, a veteran who drops by the center.

The non-profit has about four storefronts across the nation, and veterans like Sy Neal stop by, shop for a craft to work on, sometimes daily.

Crafts range in difficulty; some can be completed in a night, others take a little longer. But no matter the project, the goal is to help all veterans of any age recover.

"You figure there's a younger generation now dealing with those same issues as they come home and we want to help be part of that healing process," said Alger.

One block, one stitch at a time.

Help Heal Veterans provides free therapeutic craft kits to hospitalized and homebound veterans.

They say their kits have helped homebound veterans improve their motor skills while encouraging feelings of self-esteem and self-worth.

You can even donate a kit.

Visit Help Heal Veterans website to find out more.

© 2017 KING-TV


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