Program launched to help veterans (Cross-Timbers Gazette)

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As published in the Cross Timbers Gazette, August 25, 2016

Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, along with representatives from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, joined local community leaders on August 19 to launch the Texas Veterans and Families Alliance pilot program, one of four pilot programs across the state.

The program is targeted to help Denton County veterans and family members in crisis and was developed by the Denton County Behavioral Health Leadership Team and United Way of Denton County.

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services released $175,199 in grant funding to the Denton County Behavioral Health Leadership Team to provide services to veterans and their families as a component of Senate Bill 55 which was authored by Senator Nelson.

There are 46,000 veterans living in Denton County, approximately 8,000 are Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans living with PTSD. Estimates indicate that only 50-percent receive help.

Highly mobile Veterans Case Managers will work directly with veterans and their families. The Veterans Case Managers will work in collaboration with Denton County MHMR, the Denton County Veterans Coalition, Denton County Veterans Court, Denton County Veterans Service Office, the Military Veterans Peer Network, Texas Workforce Commission, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The program also provides for military cultural competency training, emergency financial assistance and health care financial assistance to veterans in need. To refer a veterans or their family member to the program go to UnitedWayDenton.org/Referral/Veteran.

For more information about the Denton County Behavioral Health Leadership Team visit www.DentonCountyBHLT.org.