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Brooklyn veteran suicide program on the chopping block

March 26, 2019 - 4:27 pm
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At a moment when suicide and trauma are again the top story and on the front page, a local New York state-funded program for traumatized military veterans is on the chopping block.

The program, which offers one-on-one counseling veteran-to-veteran, may be eliminated, according to two Brooklyn assemblymembers who say they're working to save the program, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The seven year old program has been instrumental in suicide prevention, say Assemblymembers Nicole Malliotakis and Felix Ortiz.

The program - called the Paul P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Project - was named for Iraq War veteran Paul Dwyer, who hailed from Mount Sinai, New York and died in 2008.  The program connects veterans who are dealing with PTSD with other veterans, fostering a bond of brotherhood.

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The lawmakers are blaming New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget, which they say includes a $3.7 million cut that would eliminate the program, and another $1.1 million in cuts that  support and mental health for veterans as well.

Research shows that veterans who die by suicide are less likely to have sought help from suicide prevention programs or the VA.  This program was established to connect veterans to each other.

RELATED:  Find Help | Mental Health    

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