The New Normal: Services and support to help vets facing mental health, food insecurity, homelessness issues
Today is Veterans Day -- a day set aside to honor and celebrate military veterans who have given so much for our country.
This morning, News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen was joined by Lonnie Sherman to talk about the several issues facing veterans today.
Sherman is the founder and president of General Needs - a non-profit that focuses on helping thousands of homeless Long Island veterans and their families through charitable donations and support.
A new report shows the number of veterans in the United States experiencing homelessness dropped by 11% since 2020, the biggest decline in more than five years. However, the count from Veterans Affairs shows there were 33,136 homeless veterans in January of this year.
Food insecurity is another issue veterans are facing. It has been found that Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and veteran women have a higher risk of food insecurity, with a 2018 study finding that 27.6% of veteran women are "food insufficient."
Meanwhile, according to a 2021 report from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 6,261 veterans took their own lives in 2019, accounting for 13.7% of suicides among American adults. This equates to roughly 17 veteran suicides a day in that year.
According to a recent study, veterans experience mental health disorders, substance use disorders, post-traumatic stress, and traumatic brain injury at higher rates compared to civilians.