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Mental illness among Vets not a distant problem

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - For workers at CNY Veteran's Outreach in downtown Utica, troubled veterans battling mental illness is not a problem that only happens elsewhere and permeates central New York only through a sterile TV screen or computer monitor.
 
'It's very common here, unfortunately," says Case Manager Danielle Nuccio.
 
Nuccio says the center sees troubled veterans battling mental illness on a weekly basis. 
   
"It can be anything from them coming in and talking to us about going back to work but having PTSD and not sure if they can do it. it can be talking about what happened in the past,' says Nuccio. 
    
As a professional who works with veterans struggling with mental illness, Nuccio regards the problem with sympathy for the victims of tragedies like Wednesday's fatal shooting at Ft. Hood, but also with recognition of the need for treatment for the afflicted veterans, in order to prevent future tragedies.
  
"In this case, the son of someone has passed away but he took other people's family members with him and it's hard to blame someone when the person is sick and to me it's a sickness; it's not out of malice,' said Nuccio.
    
CNY Veteran's Outreach opens their doors to veterans and their families, as well.  They hope to open eight new housing units for homeless veterans by November of this year. 
   

"Unfortunately, there is a need for the housing units to be put in because we have people who walk in on a weekly basis saying 'I have nowhere to go', says Nuccio. 

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