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Sarasota Thursday, Jul. 7, 2011 6 years ago

New organization seeks to help military families


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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