Plymouth State Offers Community Connections to Assist Veterans

September 23rd, 2010 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.-
Nearly one in ten New Hampshire residents are veterans, yet many social workers and other care providers lack fundamental knowledge about how to help them deal with mental and physical disabilities. Plymouth State University’s Social Work Department hosted a statewide forum September 23 to help care providers learn more about the unique needs of the military population, especially those returning home from service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

PSU Veterans Forum
Left to right, Russ Armstrong, State Committee on Aging, NH Air National Guard Brigadier General Deborah Carter and PSU Social Work professor Stephen Gorin at
The Community Provider Forum held September 23 at Plymouth State University.

“What we’re particularly interested in is bringing together providers and making them aware of the needs of returning veterans and aging veterans,” said Dr. Stephen Gorin, a PSU Social Work department professor and event organizer.

New Hampshire Air National Guard Brigadier General Deborah Carter noted unlike previous wars, recent military action in the Mideast utilized thousands of National Guard and Reserve troops, in addition to full-time troops.

“We have deployed almost 600,000 people nationwide in the past two wars, that’s Guard and Reserve, so this is a different type of war and it really calls for the community to be engaged, because the soldiers go back to the community, and if the community is not engaged, then we’re not going to get where we need to go,” Brig. Gen. Carter said. “We hope that more people become aware of what is needed by servicemen and women and their families.”

Russ Armstrong of the State Committee on Aging noted there are about 135,000 veterans in New Hampshire, with 75 percent over the age of 50 and about 60 percent over the age of 60. He urged the group to learn specific techniques in helping older veterans deal with their problems.

“We want to create awareness on what veterans need, and we also want social workers to be able to connect vets with appropriate support services,” Armstrong said.

About ninety clinical and social workers attended the day-long forum held at PSU’s Heritage Hall. The event was sponsored by the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Long Term Care Partners, the N.H. National Guard, the N.H. Office of Veterans Services, The N.H. Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and Plymouth State University’s Social Work Department.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

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