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Health News

State Council for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD) currently has funding available for the Traumatic Brain Injury Fund and encourages people who may benefit to apply.

Applying for the Traumatic Brain Injury Fund
Applications are available here>

Since July 2013, the General Assembly has allocated funding to SCPD to
administer a Brain Injury Fund. In order to qualify for the funding
applicants must fully complete an application and meet these requirements:

  • Must be a Delaware resident.
  • Provide denial of service letters from existing insurance.
  • The person receiving the funds must have medical documentation of a brain

Covered services under the Traumatic Brain Injury Fund may include the

  • Home and Environmental Modifications
  • Driver Rehabilitation
  • Service Dog Acquisition and Support
  • Assistive Technology
  • Short-term attendant services not covered under other funding sources
  • Medically approved summer day camps
  • Other services approved by the TBI Fund Committee

For additional information on the Traumatic Brain Injury Fund, please contact Director John McNeal.

John McNeal Contact Information
Phone: (302)-739-3620
Email: John.McNeal@state.de.us

Brain Injury Fund Brochure_01-11-18

Freedom Hills Therapeutic Riding Program is a Premier Accredited Program with  Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship. We are a Maryland Horse Discovery Center as well as a Maryland Farm Based Education Center. Our lead instructor/executive director won the Region 2 PATH Credentialed Professional of the Year Award. To mention only a few of  our acknowledgements.

Freedom Hills TRP was the second program in the United States to offer Equine Facilitated Learning to Veterans. We started back in 1982.

Services include:

  • We offer individualized programs for people who happen to have mental,
    physical and or emotional difficulties.
  • For groups of two or more we offer the Equus Effect. It is a five week
    program where we meet for three hours once a week.
  • We work on mental agility, body awareness and Natural Horsemanship. Our
    mental health professional can meet with Veterans on an individual basis.
    Veterans can sign up for riding lessons where they learn the basics to
    horseback riding followed by the enjoyment of trail rides. We prefer the
    Veterans go through the Equus Effect program first but it is not necessary.
    Our Military Drill Team has performed at the Fair Hill International, The MD
    Million and the MD State Fair.

Should you like to compete, our Veterans compete at the MD State Fair as well as other competitions on the East Coast.

We love volunteers and have found that our Military Veterans are some of our best volunteers.

Most of our sessions are covered by scholarships and grants. We do take many types of insurance when working with our mental health professional.If you qualify for Wounded Warriors we also have grant money for care givers as well as your children.

We love working with Vet Centers as well as Veteran Hospitals Despite the cold, we offer sessions year round.

Renee S. Dixon
Executive Director
Freedom Hills Therapeutic Riding Program
33 Rolling Hills Ranch Lane
Port Deposit, MD 21904


February 6-10th
Wilmington VA hospital
FREE of charge for veterans and military members

Join us for the next Power Breath Meditation workshop in Delaware sponsored by Help The Veterans. The workshop offered by Project Welcome Home Troops teaches evidence-based practical and powerful tools to help individuals manage the impact of service related chronic stress and trauma.

It is taught by a national non-profit organization Project Welcome Home Troops.
Check out the Facebook Event Page for this workshop.

Read some first-hand testimonials from local Delaware veterans who took the previous workshop.

Read this recent Chicago Tribune article about Project Welcome Home Troops and the workshop.

If you or anyone you know may benefit from this workshop, please sign up by contacting Leslye Moore
(208) 409 7806

For more information, please see the flyer below.

Thank you,
Meera and Raghav Garg
Help The Veterans


If you or someone you know has had a traumatic brain injury and needs assistance purchasing/paying for an item or service not covered by insurance, the person may be eligible for funding assistance through the Brain Injury Trust Fund.

For information and an application, visit the website. >
or call Dee at 302-257-3614

You served us. Now, let us serve you. Our dedicated coordination team will help manage care for injured service members. We provide a full array of options including private duty nursing, intermittent and companion/non-medical care.

About Maxim Healthcare Services

We are a leading provider of home healthcare, healthcare staffing, behavioral care, personal caregiving, and population health and wellness services across the United States. As an established community partner, we have been making a difference in the lives of our employees, caregivers and patients for 30 years. Our commitment to customer service, improving patient care, and staffing experienced healthcare professionals has made us a trusted partner in the healthcare services industry.

Contact us today for more information!

Jason Passabet
Regional Director of Military and Federal Homecare
Phone: 757-282-7062
Fax: 855-444-2917 293
Independence Blvd. Suite 400
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

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.

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.

See Original Publication of Press Release on VA website>

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.

See SAMHSA Information>

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.”

See Dr. McCance-Katz’s Bio>

Cities interested in learning more about the Mayor’s Challenge, can submit a request for information form HERE

For more information on VA’s suicide prevention campaign>

For information on SAMHSA’s suicide prevention efforts >

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.

Operation: Tohidu® is an experiential and educational retreat designed for a growing population of warfighters living with post-traumatic stress, mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury, and other service-related traumas.

“Tohidu” is a Cherokee word meaning peace of mind, body, and spirit. At Operation: TohiduR retreats, veterans focus on confidence-building, outdoor activities, and group discussion in a relaxed, positive environment, learning proven techniques for self-management of symptoms, stressors, and responses.


tohidu@melwood.org | 301-599-4550

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