North Carolina News

Gold Star Mother’s Day

Gold Star Mother’s Day is observed on the last Sunday of September, a tradition dating back to 1936 when mothers of fallen service members began calling themselves “Gold Star Mothers” during the First World War.  Ilario Pantano, Director of the NC Division of Veterans Affairs, writes about the comfort these mothers have given to others in the News and Observer opinion piece, Mothers of our fallen soldiers offer comfort to others.  Mr. Pantano writes, “Today is Gold Star Mother’s Day, […]

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NCNG Gratitude Walk

On September 10, soldiers of the North Carolina National Guard, retired military, and civilians alike came together in observance of the Guard’s third Annual Gratitude Walk, which focuses attention on suicide. Nationally, the Guard’s aim is to stomp out the stigma associated with suicide, support survivors, and reinforce the message that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Speakers at the event talked about their own personal experiences and provided encouragement to others to seek help when needed. […]

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FSU Social Work Program

The Department of Social Work at Fayetteville State University received the 2013 HBCU Award for Best Social Work Program. FSU is one of the few programs in the country offering a Military Behavioral Health Certificate Program.  The certificate provides mental and behavioral health professionals knowledge and skills that enhance their abilities to provide quality care for active duty military service members, veterans, citizen soldiers, and their families bringing together courses in areas of military culture, programs, and services as well […]

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Bull City Stand Down

On September 20, thousands of military veterans spent the day at the National Guard Armory and Durham County Memorial Stadium connecting to services, nonprofits, and other veterans. 120 community providers were present to give veterans information, haircuts, legal assistance, housing benefits, substance abuse and mental health assistance, basic medical care, a dental clinic, flu shots, showers, food, clothing, toiletries, and camouflage bags to carry it all. To read more, click here.

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New Research Findings

UNC, Duke, and VAMC researchers recently released findings that publicizing the substantial rate of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression could motivate other veterans to seek care. This research also suggests that the stigma associated with mental health care may need to be addressed on the initial visit with a provider to increase the chances that a veteran will return for additional care, as veterans who receive mental health care are more likely […]

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Invisible Casualties

Invisible Casualties: The Struggle Against Military Suicides In 2012, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) named September National Suicide Prevention Month, in an effort to demonstrate “support for Veterans in crisis and help raise awareness of the VA mental health services Veterans have earned.” To keep the momentum going, this September, The Huffington Post is dedicating a special series to the subject. Invisible Casualties is shining a spotlight on suicide prevention within the military and Veteran communities, focusing on […]

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Prescription with Four Legs

Specially trained service dogs are proving to be invaluable to the veterans they assist. The dogs, once trained, can help veterans with physical disabilities and mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Justin Madore, a North Carolina resident, describes the effects his service dog Cody has had on his life, sharing that his PTSD kept him housebound for five years.  Now, “I can go to the store on my own, I can go […]

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Female Vets Unemployment

For the last two years, unemployment among female veterans in North Carolina has been at 14.8%, more than twice the rate of male veterans. While there are many reasons unemployment is higher among female veterans, Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris, Director of the U.S. Department for Veterans Affairs Center for Women Veterans, states that issues such as childcare, underemployment, and transportation seem to be more pronounced among women. Contributing to the higher unemployment rates is the fact that many female veterans do […]

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NC Community Colleges Survey

Community College Services and Supports for Student Veterans Based on a survey that was administered to community colleges earlier this year, we have compiled a list of behavioral health and other support services that are provided to student veterans by community college.  These services are only listed for those community colleges that responded to the survey. For a copy of the results, click here.  

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A Call for Consolidation

In a recent op-ed, Retired Army Col. David Sutherland, chairman of the Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Community Services in Chicago, writes, “When it comes to addressing the needs of returning veterans, bigger isn’t better,” stating that although it might sound counterintuitive, there simply are too many disparate organizations ineffectively trying to address the needs of veterans. In military parlance, it is termed” groundswell without focus.”  Col. Sutherland shares his concern that the large numbers of groups providing services […]

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