Contact: Susan Preston
New Hotline Offers Mental Health Assistance for Returning Military
4/13/05—The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs announced a partnership
today (April 13) to create of a new mental health helpline for veterans
returning from service in Southwest Asia.
The program was announced at a news conference at Fort Dix. Participating
in the event were Major General Glenn K. Rieth, The Adjutant General
of New Jersey; Colonel (ret.) Steve Abel, Deputy Commissioner for
Veterans Affairs; Dr. John J. Petillo, President, UMDNJ; and Christopher
Kosseff, President & CEO, UMDNJ-University Behavioral HealthCare.
The toll free helpline will provide immediate assistance to veterans
suffering from psychological or emotional distress as well as those
having difficulty re-assimilating back into civilian life following
the conclusion of their mobilization for active duty service.
The helpline, which is accessible 24 hours a day seven days a week
by dialing 1-866 VETS-NJ 4 (1-866-838-7654) will be coordinated
by UMDNJ University Behavioral HealthCare. It will offer peer counseling,
clinical assessment, and assistance to family members. It also will
provide New Jersey veterans and their families with access to a
comprehensive Mental Health Provider Network of mental health professionals
specializing in PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other
veterans'; issues. All services are free and confidential.
More than 4,000 National Guard and Reserve personnel from New
Jersey have been mobilized since September 11, 2001 for service in
Operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom.
--April 21, 2005