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A Journey to Healing

Veterans Arts Care Cafe with Patrick DonohueCare Cafe 1/17
By Michelle Bialeck

Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University was proud to present its first ever Wurzweiler Care Cafe at the Bronx Vet Center. Patrick Donohue, an Afghanistan Veteran, opened the event by describing Project 9 Line, a program he founded that strives to bridge the gap between pedestrians and veterans. Donohue led the group in a lively discussion about his experiences as a veteran rebuilding his life in recovery.

Donohue's story began with his childhood under a mismanaged public school system and through a winding path of business ventures, service, recovery, exploration and innovation. He spoke of his journey from feeling punished for asking for help with his addiction, a plight shared by many of his peers, to feeling empowered by his ability to ask for help. His frankness and vulnerability was moving and powerful. He emphasized the value of a balanced life, and the impact it has had on his health and well-being.

Donohue expressed the importance of exploration and openness in recovery and in the transition to life after service. It is through these qualities that he has found yoga, meditation, martial arts, painting, and even comedy. At the close of his talk, he answered questions both practical and heartfelt. He appealed to all social workers in the audience to truly listen to the vets they support.
Donohue's presentation was an inspiration not only for fellow vets, but for civilians and social workers who look to better support those who have sacrificed for their country.

Michelle Bialeck Michelle Bialeck

- Michelle Bialeck has been working with at-risk youth and immigrant families for well over a decade and is looking forward to attaining a PhD in social welfare.