Ivey approves grant of over $1.9M for PTSD relief program run by veterans charity
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced on Thursday that she has granted $1,903,790 in CARES Act money to aid a PTSD relief program for soldiers impacted by COVID-19.
Running the program is the Birmingham-based nonprofit Priority Soldier that focuses on helping veterans deal with the stresses of readjusting to civilian life.
The state received $1.9 billion from the federal government’s CARES Act in the spring, and Ivey’s administration set aside $250 million of the funding for health care purposes.
“Alabama will never leave a man or woman behind, especially those who have worn the uniform and continue to struggle to treat their PTSD during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ivey said Thursday in a statement.
“I am proud to support the work of Priority Solider and encourage Alabama veterans needing their support to take advantage of this program,” the governor continued.
Priority is run by Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Ken Phillips, who has stated he knew from personal experience returning from an overseas deployment that an organization like Priority was needed.
“Veterans enrolled in the Priority Soldier program have stated that the stress of PTSD and COVID-19 is eased by talking to people who understand their military experience and how it affects the way they cope in these difficult times,” Phillips explained in a statement.
“The program is tailored to meet the needs of the specific vets in each group, allowing positive change in areas as diverse as marital communications, depression, anxiety and insomnia,” he added.
Due to a restriction set by the federal government, all CARES Act funding must be spent by December 30, 2020. As a result, the funding agreement between the state and Priority says the organization must “complete the program by December 30, 2020.”
The governor’s office relayed that participating veterans in the program “meet virtually three times a week for 60-minute sessions in groups of three to five veterans.
“Priority Solider is delighted to partner with Governor Ivey and the state of Alabama on this important project and appreciate the state’s continued support of Alabama’s veterans,” concluded Phillips.