MV Community Services launches veterans outreach

Benjamin Mayhew III (left), Juliette Fay, and Nat Benjamin enjoyed a sail aboard the Charlotte generously donated by Nat with lunch donated by Jaime Hamlin. —Photo by Ralph Stewart

On Saturday, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) will kick off a new informational veterans support lecture series with a presentation by Dr. Dominic Maxwell, Medical Director of the MVCS Island Counseling Center. Dr. Maxwell will discuss the signs, symptoms, and treatments available for post-traumatic stress disorder in the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School library conference room from 10 am to 12 noon. Lunch will be provided.

A discussion will follow with a panel that includes MVCS associate executive director/senior clinical adviser Tom Bennett, Dukes County veterans services director Jo Ann Murphy, and Providence VA (Veterans Administration) Regional Office public contact advocate Cheryl Belisle.

The lecture series is part of a new Veterans Outreach Program recently launched by MVCS as part of a state contract awarded the agency in July. The program will provide services to the Island’s more than 400 veterans and their extended families, with a focus on veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a press release.

As part of the new program, the Island Counseling Center recently began offering a biweekly spouses and significant others support group, to complement the weekly combat veterans group already in place. Future additions to the program may include a yoga series for veterans and spouses, a veterans potluck dinner and thank you ceremony, and a parents support group.

For more information, contact Julie Meader at