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August 01, 2011

VFW bartenders could help struggling vets, study finds

Researchers note that through close relationships built at posts, servers could steer veterans to mental health treatment
By Steven Ross Johnson, Special to the Tribune

July 27, 2011

In his more than 25 years behind the bar at the Chicago Bridgeport Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5079 on the South Side, Michael Pryor has heard and seen plenty, including from vets unburdening their troubles.

"We're like a family here," Pryor said. "I don't like to put any pressure on them (to talk). I just listen to what they're telling me."

And he considers the conversations to be confidential.

"It's like a doctor-patient kind of relationship," Pryor said.

That aspect of bartending has been captured in movies and television shows over the years. It also is what prompted researchers from Ohio State University to zero in on VFW bartenders in a recent six-month study. Their findings, published in the Journal of Military Veterans Health, suggested that bartenders could play a role in helping to identify veterans who exhibit signs of mental distress. Read More

Posted by RedStagg at August 1, 2011 12:10 PM


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