Stopping the Stigma Surrounding Veterans
Four leaders in veteran care look at the stigmas surrounding veterans and how mental health plays a role in the way communities see veterans. This panel explores how veterans’ mental health needs correlate to the challenges they face in securing a place in the workforce in the face of stigma, and the mental health care services available to assist veterans in getting on the right track. This panel features veterans, healthcare workers and community members who, through their organizations, work with veterans to first support their mental health care needs to better prepare them for civilian life.
Tim Arora, LSW, Program Coordinator – “Operation Veterans to Social Workers,” Family Connections
Wilfredo Rodriguez, MSW, LSW, Veterans’ Healthcare Specialist, Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest NJ
Jack Fanous, Executive Director, GI Go Fund
Lori Ann Rizzuto, LCSW, Director of Atlantic Behavioral Health, Atlantic Health System
"Welcome to Caucus. I'm Steve Adubato. You know, the stigma that veterans face can be devastating on so many levels, so the question is, how can we help our veterans? What exactly do they need? Joining us in the studio, we have four experts to talk about this. First, Tim Arora, Program Coordinator for Operation Veterans to Social Workers at Family Connections, Wilfredo Rodriguez with Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest, he is a Veterans Healthcare Specialist, joining us for the first time, we have Lori Rizzuto, Director of Atlantic Behavioral Health at Atlantic Health System, and finally, he's back, by popular demand, Jack Fanous, Executive Director of GI Go Fund. Good to see all of you. We're gonna see a bunch of... not a bunch of, a whole range of websites throughout this program... resources, help, support for our veterans, Jack since you've been with us many times, I'll start with you We're talking about stopping the stigma that our veterans face. We talked about it before. What the heck is this stigma? And how pervasive is it in 2018? It's out there for sure. I think shows like this help bring that stigma down. I mean you are shining the light on things of that nature regularly. I mean I've done this show many times, and we talk about it, it's helping bring that stigma down. But what is the stigma? By the way, real quick, the GI Go Fund, tell everyone... I'm gonna give everyone a chance to do this. GI Go Fund, and then I'll go back to the stigma. Go ahead. GI Go Fund's a veterans organization, founded twelve years ago after one of my best friends was killed, Lieutenant Seth Dvorin, killed in Iraq. We focus on housing, education, but most importantly, we focus on employment and bringing down that stigma, connecting veterans and employers with one another, and that stigma that you're talking about is sometimes employers don't really understand what veterans bring to the table, or what type of individuals they are. Sometimes there's mental health concerns...."