Addressing the Needs of New Jersey's Military Heroes
Steve Adubato leads a panel of individuals from organizations that are dedicated to helping our military heroes through programs that address the many issues veterans face. The panel also discusses what else can be done to improve the quality of care for our veterans. Guests include: Marcy Felsenfeld of the Healthcare Foundation of NJ, Lloyd Deans from Vets 4 Warrios, Emily Feiner of VA NJ Healthcare Services and Patricia Findley of Rutgers University.
"Welcome to Caucus New Jersey. I'm Steve Adubato. You know, returning to life after military service clearly is not easy. Many veterans come home and need our support. Joining me in the studio today to discuss what needs to be done to improve the quality of care for our military heroes. We have Emily Feiner, Chief of Social Work for the V.A. New Jersey Healthcare services. Lloyd Deans, Mental Health Supervisor for Vets For Warriors. Marcy Felsenfeld, Senior Program Officer at the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey. And finally, Patricia Findley, Special Assistant to the Dean of Inter professional Health Initiatives at Rutgers University. And at Rutgers, they also have Veterans House, which is? It's a one stop center for veterans who are students within the university for everything from registration to counseling to tutoring. It's a great center. And Patricia's comments are right on the mark because this entire half hour is dedicated to doing a couple of things. First of all we're going to have a candid conversation about what some of the needs of our heroic veterans are coming home. Men and women. But also talk about where those services are. How they can get those services. And let me ask you Marcy, the foundation. Very dedicated to helping veterans organizations. $736,000 in grants going to what organizations to do what? We've been giving to veteran serving charities or non profits for more than 15 years. Two years ago, we released a request for proposals looking for projects that could engage even more veterans in health seeking behaviors and mental health services. We funded direct mental health services for veterans and their families. We funded outreach programs to bring veterans in... female veterans specifically. We have funded advocacy programs to help veterans who have other than honorable discharges. Well stay on that for a second. That whole issue of veterans who have something less than honorable discharge... There are so many areas we cover. Why would that be an issue and what does that have to do with mental health? Many veterans who exhibit challenging, difficult behaviors are occasionally dismissed or discharged from the military with an "other than honorable" condition. There are about five different types, and depending on where you are, you can access different levels of benefits. One of the things that is extremely challenging is if a soldier experiences military sexual trauma, experiences a brain injury, has some sort of a post traumatic stress reaction. Sometimes that manifests itself in substance abuse..."