A Voice for Improving Mental Health Care for Veterans and Their Families
April 1, 2010
WebsiteSEE GRANT OUTCOMES
In 2009, the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) began to focus more attention on veterans’ mental health and substance use issues.
In partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City, MHA-NYC organized the Veterans’ Mental Health Coalition of New York City (VMHC-NYC). VMHC-NYC, along with Veterans’ Health Alliance of Long Island (VHA-LI), seeks to address limited access to appropriate mental health supports by servicemembers, veterans, and their families. Both organizations include experts from the fields of mental health/substance use, health, social service, the Veterans Administration, and government, as well as representation from veterans and their families. In 2010, the New York State Health Foundation awarded a grant to MHA-NYC to enable the VMHC-NYC and VHA-LI to share a part-time project director.
The project accomplished the following activities:
- Developed policy agendas to advance appropriate, accessible, high-quality services for veterans with behavioral health problems, and their families.
- Prepared and disseminated information to key public officials who are currently working on public policy to improve services for veterans and their families.
- Provided training opportunities to social service organizations in New York City and Long Island on expanding services to meet the needs of veterans and their families (approximately six per year in each location).
- Held approximately six meetings per year with each coalition to share information, develop collaborative relationships, showcase programs serving veterans, hear from experts in various areas, and reach consensus on best practices for programs and policies serving veterans in New York State.