The Delaware Veterans Coalition’s goal is to keep our website current as a source of information on benefits, opportunities, and events for our readers. Check back often. Please note you can sign up for a free update on veteran-related legislation by clicking on the newsletter registration link on the right. You can also submit an application for membership on the left. Membership is open to all honorably-discharged veterans residing in Delaware at only $20 per year. We meet every other month on the 4th Monday of the month, beginning in January of each year.
We also support the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park which tributes Gold Star Mother and Families, those lost in Vietnam, Korea, and the Middle East. The park also contains a POW/MIA Chair of Honor, a War Dog memorial and a UH-1 “Huey” Dustoff helicopter perched on an 18-foot stand. The park is financed through the sale of memorial bricks. If you wish to honor a family member or loved one who served, buy a brick to support the memorials, visit the Support the Memorials page.
WHAT are the ingredients for a happy life?
HOW does it feel to be human?
NO MATTER WHAT you may have experienced or witnessed, it is still possible to lead a joyful existence once you understand the tools at your disposal.
FELLOW VETERANS will explore these topics to discover a practical approach to the daily challenges of life.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 18, 2018 @7 PM
Wilmington VA Medical Center
1601 Kirkwood Highway
Wilmington, DE 19805
(Building #5 outside the rear entrance)
To register, email email@example.com
Greetings DJF Community Network
Our next DJF Community Network SOUTH quarterly meeting is fast-approaching!
I am seeking 3 presenters, as I have not had any requests on topics for this
month’s meeting. Please send me an email if interested – first come, first served!
Our meeting will be led by Larence Kirby.
THU, JAN 18 * 0830 HOURS
ADAMS STATE SERVICE CENTER
DPH Conference Room 100
546 S. Bedford Street, Georgetown, DE 19947
Use Bldg Entrance #3 (directly across from DMV)
Thanks for all you do to support our service members, veterans, and families.
PLEASE RSVP BY EMAIL if you will attend the SOUTH meeting.
CHRISTINE F. KUBIK
DELAWARE NATIONAL GUARD
DIRECTOR, JOINT SUPPORT & OUTREACH SVCS (J9)
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
ASIST is a two-day, intensive suicide intervention skills-training workshop
aimed at those who want to feel more comfortable, confident and competent in
helping to prevent the immediate risk of suicide. ASIST provides practical
training and is suitable for anyone in a caring role or working with
vulnerable people, from teenagers upwards.
Wednesday JAN 29-30, 2017
All workshops are 0830-1630 hrs.
Location: Biden National Guard Reserve Center
1 Vavala Way (GPS use: 250 Airport Road), New Castle, DE 19720
PROGRAM POC to register:
Mr. Ronald Andrews, CTR
Suicide Prevention Program Manager
Recently, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Dr. David Shulkin declared suicide prevention his top clinical priority. As part of his prevention effort, effective July 5, 2017, VA began offering veterans with other-than-honorable (OTH) administrative military discharges, an estimated 500,000 veterans, access to the full array of VA services if they require emergency mental health treatment. Former service members may enter the system to use this benefit by visiting a VA emergency room or Vet Center or by calling the Veteran Crisis Line. If it is determined to be a mental health emergency, the veteran may qualify for up to 90 days of care, which can include inpatient, residential, and outpatient care. During this time, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), will work together to determine if the veteran’s mental health issue is related to military service, which would make the veteran eligible for continuing medical care. For more detailed information about this initiative, click here VA Fact Sheet.
The Government Accountability Office reviewed military documents of veterans with OTH discharges between 2011 and 2015, and found that over 13,000 veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury received OTH discharges. According to the military’s policy, these factors should have been considered in the character of discharge decision, but were not. Prior to Secretary Shulkin’s change in policy, these veterans with OTH discharges generally lacked access to VA mental health care services.
Despite VA’s dedicated efforts to reduce veteran suicide, an average of 20 veterans per day take their own lives, 21 percent higher than non-veterans. In order to reduce this number VA established a crisis line and placed suicide prevention coordinator teams at every VA medical center. To date, the crisis line has answered 2.3 million calls, participated in 289,000 chats, replied to 55,000 texts, dispatched emergency services over 61,000 times, and provided over 376,000 referrals to VA suicide prevention coordinators. Most recently, the VA announced its efforts to train all its employees to recognize suicide warning signs to help ensure vulnerable veterans do not fall through the cracks. Recent independent assessments by Altarum and the RAND Corporation, found that the VA provides mental health and suicide prevention services that are superior to the private sector by as much as 30 percent across seven different performance indicators.
VA has made significant improvements in its mental health and suicide prevention services and the Department reports that veterans who choose VA are at lower risk for suicide. Unfortunately, many veterans do not elect to use VA, or they are ineligible to receive care. Secretary Shulkin noted that 70 percent of veterans who commit suicide are not regular VA patients. The most comprehensive study to date covering veteran suicide, published in July 2016, further demonstrates the increased risks for veterans who do not utilize VA services. This study found that since 2001, the rate of veterans using VA services who committed suicide increased by 5.4 percent, compared to an increase of 38.4 percent for those who did not use, or have access to, VA’s health care services. The statistics for female veterans are of particular concern. During the same time period, the rate of female veteran suicide decreased by 2.6 percent for VA users, but increased by 81.6 percent for women veterans who did not use VA services.
While more work is required to eliminate veteran suicide, this new policy to expand mental health care to eligible veterans with OTH military discharges is a step in the right direction. Secretary Shulkin stated, “we want these former service members to know there is someplace they can turn if they are facing a mental health emergency.”
Veterans in crisis should call the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 (press 1), or text 838255.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 1, 2018
Contact Dick Carter at 302-245-0670
Delaware women veterans invited to participate in Women’s Service Monument
A public meeting about the Delaware Women’s Service Monument will be held in the Senate Hearing Room on the second floor of Legislative Hall, Dover, on Thursday, January 11, from 10 a.m. until noon.
Delaware’s women have served on the fields of war and at home in the First State, and in 2018 their sacrifices will be recognized with a new monument on the grounds of Legislative Hall, according to Dick Carter, chairman of the Delaware Heritage Commission.
The monument also will recognize those who call Delaware their home even though they weren’t born here. While other monuments have acknowledged women’s roles in Delaware history, there are none specifically dedicated to women veterans.
Between March 2003 and December 2017, the United States military suffered 6,930 deaths in the Middle East. Of those, 207 have been women, including Air Force Senior Airman Elizabeth Loncki of New Castle, a 23-year-old explosives expert who died January 7, 2007, in Iraq while she and two others examined a car bomb.
The design will echo that of the state’s World War I commemorative, erected November 4 at the southwest corner of Legislative Hall and stand on the northwest corner of the capital building’s grounds. It will be highlighted with laser-etched images of real Delawareans.
The General Assembly and the Department of State are the lead agencies on the monument and gathering photos for inclusion on the monument but are hoping others will be found in photo albums or family memorabilia representative of all Delaware women.
The Heritage Commission has been working with the Delaware Public Archives and when the dedication takes place, the Heritage Commission will publish a commemorative booklet including many of the photos not used on the structure.
The monument can also can recognize women who never wore the uniform like those who worked at New Castle’s Bellanca Aircraft and five women killed in a March 1943 blast at the Milford Ordinance Company. Mr. Carter is hoping people will contribute photos and personal stories toward the monument project and what it stands for. “We want as much public input as possible,” he said.
Members of the Heritage Commission hope to have the design finalized by the end of January or early February, which includes selecting the six to eight photographs that will represent all Delaware women on the memorial.
Tentative plans are to dedicate the monument around Mother’s Day 2018. To contribute photographs and memorials, contact Dick Carter at 302-245-0670. Photographs and a brief synopsis of each individual can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Image files must be 300 dpi or higher. Photos may also be dropped off at Mr. Carter’s office in Legislative Hall. All originals will be returned.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in partnership with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is pleased to announce its inaugural Mayor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families. SAMHSA’s SMVF TA Center will facilitate the Mayor’s Challenge process, which includes an orientation meeting, a web-based preparation session, and the two-and-a-half-day policy academy in Washington, DC. Policy academy participants will receive specialized technical assistance aimed at preventing suicide among services for service members, Veterans, and their families through the development of a targeted strategic action plan.
For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON– Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the inaugural Mayor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide among service members, Veterans and their families.
The goal of the Mayor’s Challenge is to eliminate suicide by using a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention.
“Of the 20 suicides a day that we reported last year, 14 were not under VA care,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “We are pleased to partner with SAMHSA to bring attention, education and support regarding suicide prevention to communities where our Veterans live.”
VA and SAMHSA will invite seven cities to participate in a policy academy process that up until now has been available only to states and territories. The cities will be invited based on Veteran population data, suicide prevalence rates and capacity of the city to lead the way in this first phase of the Mayor’s Challenge.
The selected cities will be announced mid-December, once they have formally accepted nominations.
Teams from each of the seven cities will meet March 14-16, 2018, in Washington, D.C., to develop strategic action plans to implement in their communities. The teams will include collaborative groups of community, municipal, military and other stakeholders. VA will provide technical assistance to support local efforts and to document outcomes and share strategies with other municipalities.
Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use at SAMHSA, said, “We must act now to accelerate suicide prevention efforts at the local level, with communities embracing and supporting the health and well-being of our service members, Veterans and their families.”
Cities interested in learning more about the Mayor’s Challenge, can submit a request for information form HERE.
Veterans in crisis or having thoughts of suicide — and those who know a Veteran in crisis — should call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.
Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat or text to 838255.
The Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Training Office is
sponsoring multiple free workshops on the topic of Mindfulness.
You may contact the DSAMH Training Office at DSAMH.Training@state.de.us
Wednesday, December 6 • 7pm
This year’s concert should be an outstanding show. We are featuring music
from many more genres than usual including:
It should be a fun night for the whole
family, with minimal talking, and lots of fun music.
Audience members can expect a holiday concert like they have never seen us
perform before. You should plan to arrive early as there are already a
confirmed 800 guests! And, of course, don’t forget to bring a food item for
the DNG war on hunger!
I am looking forward to seeing you at the concert!
Commander, 287th Army Band
Help The Veterans is sponsoring the Power Breath Meditation workshop in Delaware.
December 8th – 12th
Wilmington VA Hospital
It is free of charge for veterans and military members and is conducted by a national non-profit organization, Project Welcome Home Troops.
If you or anyone you know may benefit from this workshop, please sign up by contacting:
call (208) 409 7806
Recent Chicago Tribune article about the Project Welcome Home Troops
About the workshop
Meera and Raghav Garg
Help The Veterans
Charter School of Wilmington
Help The Veterans: helptheveterans.org is a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible fund under Delaware Community Foundation