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Sarasota Thursday, Jul. 7, 2011 5 years ago

New organization seeks to help military families

by: Observer Staff

Longboat Key residents Joyce Rubin and Sheila Weiser grew concerned as they read the news reports about soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan — many who had depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Rubin, a licensed social worker, and Weiser, a licensed mental-health counselor, worried not only about veterans but also for their family members.

“Our thinking was, ‘What would it be like to have a child coming back and refusing help — hiding under a bed, for instance, never eating?’” Weiser said. “Or, if a horn blows, they think it’s a shot.”

Approximately two years ago, Rubin, Weiser and approximately a dozen professionals, including therapists, counselors, attorneys and educators, joined together to form Professionals Assisting Military Families & Friends (PAMFF). The organization is still in its early stages, but members will eventually contribute their professional skills to provide services such as group and individual counseling, alcohol- and drug-abuse education, community outreach, referral services and teacher training to help educators identify at-risk students.

For more information on Professionals Assisting Military Family & Friends, call 224-1094, email [email protected].com or visit its website,


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