Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Announces Launch of Groundbreaking Tool to Help Veterans

May 22, 2009
Network of Care

On Friday, May 22, 2009, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will launch a revolutionary site he calls "our NETWORK OF CARE."  Network of Care is a state-of-the-art website that provides a direct link between members of the California military community in need of services and the specific organizations that can help them.

www.veterans.networkofcare.org

“The freedoms that we enjoy today are made possible by the courageous men and women of our armed forces.  Together, we must reach out to them as they return home, especially those who have suffered both physically and mentally.  So if you are a veteran, service member, or family member, this website is for you,” says Governor Schwarzenegger about Network of Care for Veterans & Service Members.

With a click of a mouse, military community members can find immediate crisis counseling, emergency help with housing, and jobs specifically for veterans. WWW.VETS.NETWORKOFCARE.ORG is a critical new resource linking thousands of service providers with returning soldiers and their loved ones.

"There are a lot of great services available, but the people we are trying to serve don't know about us. It was clear to me immediately that NETWORK OF CARE is the tool that we need throughout the country where in -- ONE SPOT -- all organizations can come together to collaborate, and veterans and family members can go to understand what is available in their specific communities," says Barbara Romberg, Founder of Give an Hour, a provider of mental health services to veterans.

Organizations like Give an Hour say this non-commercial site is the missing link that will assist veterans in their search for services.   As is evidenced by last week's tragic events outside a stress clinic in Baghdad, our community must make it a top priority to ensure that men and women of the Armed Forces have proper community support and the ability to find help quickly when they return home.

California is the second state to launch Network of Care for Veterans & Service Members. Maryland was the first state to launch Network of Care on March 31, 2009 under the leadership of Iraq war veteran Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, who focuses on veterans affairs as one of his key policies.

“Veterans often bring the war home when returning from duty and the transition to civilian life is more difficult because of the outdated systems they encounter when attempting to register for needed services,” said Chris Raschke, Veterans’ Outreach Liaison for Network of Care.   “With Network of Care, these returning service members now have a place to be heard, to communicate with others going through their experience, to interact with their local community, and find the help they need to move into post-military life.”

With 1.5 million veterans expected to return home in the next two years, Network of Care is an essential bridge to information about health services and programs available to veterans in California: www.veterans.networkofcare.org



INTERVIEWEES ON HOUSE HEARING AND NETWORK OF CARE:


Bruce Bronzan, Founder, Network of Care, 415-377-4194 or bbronzan@trilogyir.com

Dr. Barbara Romberg, Ph.D., Founder, Give an Hour and a key expert on veteran mental health, (202) 244-5944 or bvromberg@giveanhour.org

Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. Contact: Barbara Streeter, Press Office:  410-974-3901

Chris Raschke, Veterans' Outreach Liaison, Network of Care, (707) 696-2925 or craschke@trilogyir.com


FACT SHEET

To date, approximately 1.7 million U.S. troop s have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.


Nearly a third of those deployed have come from the National Guard and Military Reserves.

In a typical unit headed to Iraq, 60% are on their second, third or fourth deployment, each lasting approximately one year.


According to a study by the Rand Corporation, approximately 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans report suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression. Only about half of those veterans sought help from a provider in the past year, and of these, fewer than half received minimally adequate treatment.

Fifteen-month tours and repeated deployments are increasing the rate of suicide, divorce, and psychological problems, according to Pentagon data.


There are an average of 18 suicides a day among America’s 25 million veterans, with more than one-fifth of those being committed by patients undergoing treatment by the VA.

About one in every five married service members has filed for divorce since September 2001.


MEDIA CONTACTS:

Kirsten Maynard
kirsten@santokiproductions.com
415-350-4147