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Fargo VA raises awareness on military sexual trauma

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On April 5-6, the Fargo VA Health Care System will be sponsoring a "Clothesline Project" to increase awareness of Military Sexual Trauma (MST). The event will be held at the Fargo VA Medical Center, 2101 N. Elm, Fargo, third floor auditorium, on April 5 (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and April 6 (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.). During the event on April 5, two educational sessions will be held at 10 a.m. and noon. The public is welcome to attend.

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About one in five women and one in a hundred men seen in VA medical facilities report that they experienced Military Sexual Trauma (MST); defined as sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred during military service. MST can affect veterans' physical and mental health for many years. VA offers a variety of services designed to assist veterans who have experienced MST. Treatment for physical and mental health conditions related to MST is available at every VA facility and is provided to veterans free of charge, regardless of service-connection status. Veterans may be able to receive this free MST-related care even if they are not eligible for other VA care. Every VA facility also has an MST Coordinator who serves as a point of contact for veterans and staff. For more information, contact Susan Thompson, LICSW, MST Program Coordinator at the Fargo VA Health Care System, (701) 239-3700 ext. 9-4523.

Veterans can access information at www.mentalhealth.va.gov/msthome.asp.

Please see your local county veterans service officer if you have any questions. You can contact your local VSO at (218) 631-7617 or by e-mail at david.anderson@co.wadena.mn.us. As always, have a great week.

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