Veterans Included in Mental Health "Roadmap"

Today First Lady Chirlane McCray is announcing the details of her Thrive NYC Roadmap for NYC mental health services. This was anticipated earlier this year, but at last comes with a number of initiatives—and among them, veteran-specific initiatives that are promising steps forward for NYC veterans, service members, and their families. We are pleased that the NYC Veterans Alliance had input in this important set of initiatives, and that some of our recommendations from earlier this year will at last be implemented.

mccray.jpgThese veteran-specific initiatives include: 

  1. Connecting the city’s 311 phone and web-based service to the national Veterans Crisis Line in the event of any queries related to veteran suicide. When we surveyed the NYC veterans community last spring, this initiative received the strongest support from respondents, and was the top recommendation in our detailed report last June.

  2. Expanding NYC’s veteran outreach and benefits counselors. Another initiative we’ve strongly supported is the creation of a robust veteran outreach program, and the further expansion of this program under the roadmap will deepen and strengthen the city’s capacity to address the needs of veterans and ensure they receive the services and benefits they’ve earned.

  3. A citywide public service advertising campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicide and providing positive messaging about veterans and military service. This advertising campaign will go a long way toward showing that our city is indeed marshalling its resources for veterans, service members, and their families—and that city government is increasingly a place where they can turn for help and support.

  4. $1 Million in funding for programs and services related to holistic mental health for veterans, service members, and their families. This will resource a wider array of treatment programs that have broader potential for reaching our community than ever before. 

This is just an overview of today’s announcement and what will be forthcoming. We look forward to our continued work with the administration on this and future initiatives and programs to improve the lives of NYC veterans, service members, and their families.