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University hosting ?Vet Net' symposium for second year

Commerce Journal - 6/22/2018

A department of Texas A&M University-Commerce is hosting its second-annual event aimed at discussing the mental health needs of our nation's veterans.

The Counseling Center is sponsoring the Vet Net Symposium at A&M-Commerce, with this year's event focusing on mental health challenges and obstacles for female veterans. The event will feature guest speakers, breakout sessions and more.

Dr. Nick Patras with the Counseling Center, who himself is a veteran, says that he views this event as a type of service to the veterans in the community.

"There are many veterans on campus and in the community, and they challenges they face can be very unique to their time in the military," Patras said. "I wanted to do something as a service to that community."

This year's event will feature a keynote speech from Dr. Debra Nofziger, a former active-duty Army psychologist who currently serves as a deployment behavioral health psychologist with the Center for Developmental Psychology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.

In addition, the symposium will feature speaking engagements from Patras and Dr. Stephen Freeman, Professor of Counseling at A&M-Commerce, as well as Tempa Sherrill, CEO of Stay the Course Veteran's Services and Dr. Jill Bennett, founder of the Hoofbeats for Hope equine therapy program.

The event will take place on June 28 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will also include six continuing education hours for LPCs, Licensed Psychologists and social workers.

Registration is $149 for professionals, $119 for veterans and retired professionals and $109 for students. Registration can be done online at


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