Patricia Smucker is a licensed social worker and Give an Hour provider who has a home office practice in Long Island N.Y.
When Patricia was 35-years-old she returned to school to get her counseling degree and has been working ever since while raising her three children, 19, 16 and three. Her practice includes two male clients in law enforcement, a Vietnam veteran and a referral from Give an Hour, an active duty enlisted soldier in his early forties.
Patricia’s client has been in the Army for twenty years, long enough to see combat in the Gulf War and Afghanistan. He lives alone but near two brothers. He was married once but his wife committed suicide. Patricia sees her client once a week for an hour. “I’ll continue to see him as long as he wants to come,” she says. “Right now he has a decision to make. He can leave the military or, if he stays in, deploy again to Afghanistan. It’s a challenging choice for him to make since the military has been his life.”
One of the interesting observations Patricia makes is about active duty military and law enforcement clients and insurance. She says they will often avoid filing claims with their carrier because they fear it will go into their record and someone could find out about it. “They trust no one when it comes to mental health issues, “she says. “Confidentiality is a luxury these clients feel they cannot count on.” She also wishes the military would screen for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at the recruitment stage. Patricia’s care, compassion, and service to the military and Veterans is what makes her a Daily Point of Light.