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:
- Advance public policy to ensure that veterans’ funding meets the needs of New York State’s returning veterans and their families.
- Increase comprehensive community-based services for veterans and their families.
- Build knowledge and cultural competency related to military issues among primary care and mental health providers to help them better meet the unique needs of returning veterans and their families.
Create a repository for nonpartisan, independent information regarding the needs of veterans and their families for policymakers, advocates, journalists, and others who need to make informed policy decisions.
In the video below, NYSHealth President and CEO James R. Knickman and and NYSHealth Senior Fellow for Veterans Affairs Colonel (Ret.) James McDonough, Jr., discuss NYSHealth's investment in returning veterans and their families.
Measuring Our Impact
The 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