Penn mental-health clinic aids struggling vets and families

Back in November, Darcel Rideout was not in a good place.  The chemical warfare specialist and weapons marksmanship instructor with the Pennsylvania National Guard had been struggling with depression ever since she gave birth to her son in 2014, and was now having thoughts of suicide and homicide.

A new clinic had opened on the University of Pennsylvania campus, and a private organization, Military One Source, thought the facility might help her out.

"I called the clinic, had a screening over the phone, and they made an appointment with me the very next day," said Rideout, 27, of Philadelphia.  "I was really worried about exposing myself to strangers — that's what comes with military training."

Six months later, Rideout is on the advisory board of the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic, at 3535 Market St., one of five mental-health centers of its kind in the country created to fill in the gaps in existing services.  Seven other clinics are expected to open by the end of 2017, said Anthony Guido, a spokesman for the association.

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