Through a program called Serving Those Who Served, 10 Garden State veterans worked as navigators to connect thousands of New Jerseyans, including 18,000 of their fellow veterans, with vital information on healthcare and support services. Under the aegis of the Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey, the veteran-navigators contacted veterans, military families and other special populations who might need help connecting to health services. At the end of the grant-funded project, they had reached more than 34,441 residents.
According to the National Institutes of Health, military service members and veterans face health issues differently than civilians. Combat stress, combined with being separated from family, can put service members and veterans at risk for such problems as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse and depression.
Michael Mimms of Sicklerville, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, who worked with Serving Those Who Served, said, “Vets can get things done … I’m grateful to be part of something that helps others.”