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Virtual workshops to help veterans during pandemic

American Red Cross offering two events in August

PARKERSBURG — The COVID-19 pandemic has made the last four months challenging for everyone, but it may hit some veterans a little differently.

“Some veterans experience what we call post-traumatic stress disorder, and having restrictions placed upon their free movement through the community or being required to wear a mask may … cause them additional stress that someone who’s not experienced military life is not experiencing,” said Sharon Kesselring, executive director of the American Red Cross of the Ohio Valley.

To help service members, veterans and their families with such issues, the local Red Cross chapter is offering a pair of free, virtual stress-management workshops this month. Participants must register online in advance and can join on their computer or smart phone.

The first is slated for 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6. In case it fills up or some people can’t make that date or time, a second session is planned for 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20.

The workshops will be led by a Red Cross mental health volunteer from West Virginia.

“This is going to be a great opportunity to talk, raise some questions, get some answers and learn some coping skills,” Kesselring said.

Area residents who have a veteran in their family who lives outside the community can invite them to join in on the session.

“There are some pluses to having it virtual,” Kesselring said.

The workshops are made possible by a grant from the Sisters Health Foundation.

Registration for the Aug. 6 session can be found at https://tinyurl.com/y3neffwa

The Aug. 20 workshop is at https://tinyurl.com/yyg9l2cj

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