Jeanine Aversa

Daily Point of Light # 4540 Jul 1, 2011

As a lead in to this Monday, July 4th, Independence Day, we celebrate our nation and the American people who make up our nation. We thank those military members and families who serve our country. Today’s Daily Point of Light is a person who gives back to those who serve our country….

“We need to facilitate an atmosphere where service members can process what they have been through. If I can help military families learn what to expect when members come home from war and how to cope better, then I have made a difference.”

Four years ago, medical doctor, Jeanine Aversa began actively researching ways to give back. She came across Give an Hour, a non-profit organization that offers free mental health services for military personnel and their families, and immediately signed up. Today, Jeanine sees more military family members than ever. About 90% of her military patients have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“Right now I’m seeing the spouse of a military service member who has PTSD,” she says, “What people don’t realize is that PTSD impacts the entire family yet at the same time mental health care providers, like myself, have to be careful not to allow patients to use the diagnosis as an excuse for bad behavior.”

Jeanine believes that the sooner a person affected by combat stress processes and integrates their experiences, the better off they are. It’s been less than a year since Jeanine started a new group practice in Downington, Pennsylvania. Already, she is instituting a free group therapy session on Sundays for military service members and their families that will focus on Post Traumatic Stress in its many forms.

“I believe in giving back to the community,” Jeanine says, “and for me that means one out of every ten clients should be seen pro bono.”

Jeanine continues to hold the same sense of duty and patriotism she has regarded since childhood.