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Federal Grant to UNH Assists Recreational Therapy for Veterans

Courtesy The University Of New Hampshire

A grant that helps veterans with disabilities through a program at the University of New Hampshire has been renewed.

The federal grant of $300,000 will go to Northeast Passage, which provides veterans with recreation therapy.

The grant will allow Northeast Passage to work with more Vietnam War veterans, as well as those with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

Previous grants had focused on treating physical disabilities. Program director Jill Gravink says recreation therapists will now help vets overcome physical and mental challenges.

"If you’ve got a veteran with post-traumatic stress, it may be that they want to feel comfortable out in a community setting again," says Gravink. "So what we’ll do is use recreation activities that are relevant to them and intrinsically motivating, to be able to work on, 'How do I manage the things that are uncomfortable for me in these settings?' "

Gravink says post-traumatic stress disorder is a big concern, especially with Vietnam veterans, and the grants will help with treatment. 

Last year’s grant from the VA helped 271 veterans.

Peter Biello is the host of All Things Considered and Writers on a New England Stage at New Hampshire Public Radio. He has served as a producer/announcer/host of Weekend Edition Saturday at Vermont Public Radio and as a reporter/host of Morning Edition at WHQR in Wilmington, North Carolina.
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