In 2008, while exploring the needs of New Yorkers coping with both mental health and substance use disorders at the same time, NYSHealth identified returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and their families as a high-need population whose concerns were not being met. A 2011 needs assessment made clear that New York’s returning veterans and their families would benefit from greater support if they had access to a wider range of resources affecting their health and well-being—not only health care and mental health, but also education, employment, and housing services. Nearly half of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan would prefer to receive care and services in their communities, rather than through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system. Outreach to connect veterans and their families with existing services and better coordination among government and community agencies are essential for this generation of veterans, who are more likely to return to neighborhoods than to military bases.
To support returning veterans and their families, the Foundation seeks to:
- Advocate for increased philanthropic and government support for programs that meet veteran families' needs.
- Increase access to culturally competent community-based services and resources.
In the video below, NYSHealth President and CEO James R. Knickman and NYSHealth's former Senior Fellow for Veterans Affairs Colonel (Ret.) James McDonough, Jr., discuss NYSHealth's investment in returning veterans and their families.
Measuring Our Impact
The program indicators below help us to track the Foundation’s and our grantees’ progress in our work to meet the needs of returning veterans and their families.View Program Impact