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USC Opens Free Mental Health Clinic Thanks to $15.7 Million Gift

Thanks to a $15.7 million gift, USC and the nonprofit Cohen Veterans Network will open a free mental health clinic today aimed at helping veterans overcome post-traumatic stress or other disorders and transition to civilian life.

The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at USC, 830 S. Flower St., will operate in collaboration with the USC School of Social Work and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. Services will be available for post-9/11 veterans at various locations across the county.

The clinic, which will open at 1 p.m., is the result of a $15.7 million gift by Steven A. Cohen, a financial investment executive and philanthropist who also sits on the board of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.

“This gift speaks to Steven Cohen’s profound and broad commitment to our nation’s veterans,” USC President C.L. Max Nikias  said. “His generous gift provides a bold push forward in how we, as a nation and as a university, support our veterans as they transition to civilian life. Mr. Cohen serves as a dynamic force, bringing hope to veterans and their families struggling with mental health issues.”

According to the Cohen Veterans Network, about 20 percent of the roughly 2.6 million veterans who have served in the military since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks suffer from some form of post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury. But about 40 percent of them don’t seek treatment, making it difficult for them to return to civilian life.

“The wounds of war are serious,” Cohen said. “It is not easy to serve your country in combat overseas and then come back into society seamlessly, especially if you are suffering. These men and women have paid an incredible price and it’s important that this country pays back that debt.”

The USC clinic is part of a $275 million investment nationally by Cohen, and it is the fourth of an anticipated 20 to 25 clinics that will be built across the country over the next five years.

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