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Veteran Community Initiatives

Following a mental health crisis involving a veteran earlier this week in Somerset County questions are now being raised about what’s being done in our area to help veterans who are struggling.

As Nicole Fuschino reports the first step to getting help is making that phone call, speaking up, and taking action.

Statistics show 22 veterans take their own lives every single day.

“One is too many.”

As the President of Veteran Community Initiatives Tom Caulfield helps veterans in 14 counties form a healthy mind

Because he knows the mental battles that veterans fight all too well.

“I still recall my days of Vietnam after being out for over 50 years now.”

Now he’s helping to pull back that curtain that portrays strength & patriotism to reveal internal battles with mental health.

“The stress of everyday living, compounded upon your military service being put in very, very difficult positions and seeing some terrible things, traumatic things — that combined, no wonder. No wonder why people suffer from breakdowns.”

He says their together with veterans program is geared towards veteran suicide prevention.

“The idea behind this program is to help with awareness, and to let people that might be struggling and even have thoughts of suicide to have a vehicle where they can go to an talk.”

He also helps family members of struggling veterans and plans community events all to end the stigma.

“There’s no shame whatsoever in this. You’ve got to get the help. The bottom line is getting the help. We’re there to help you. If we can save just one life, it’s worth it.”

You can call the VCI office for help or to get involved at the number at the bottom of your screen.

And you can also call the National Veteran Crisis Line at this number if you’re in crisis or have a family member who is.

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