Marie C. Smith, director of Donor Relations and Communications, Long Island Community Foundation; Ruth McDade, director of Development, Association for Mental Health and Wellness; Wilkens Young, director, of Suffolk County United Veterans; Marcelle Leis, director of Veteran Services, Association for Mental Health and Wellness. (Photo: LICF)
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LICF gives $20,000 to assist older veterans

The Long Island Community Foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to the Association for Mental Health and Wellness to help address physical and mental health issues of older veterans.

The funding will assist aging veterans living in Suffolk County United Veterans’ permanent supportive housing and other at-risk veterans through the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Project with co-morbid mental health and physical health problems.

The goal is to help prepare those veterans for a successful transition from independent living to an acceptance of added supports that may include home care and personal assistance, assisted living, or nursing home placement.

“Elderly veterans, as well as younger veterans who may have sustained co-morbid mental health and physical injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, are at an increased need for long term support,” Michael Stoltz, CEO of MHAW, said in a written statement. “The work we will do in this grant will help veterans to emotionally prepare for a successful transition to resources that address their specific overall care needs.”

David Okorn, executive director of the Long Island Community Foundation, said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionately affect the senior veteran population due to their complex health and mental health care issues.

“Hiring additional staff will enable MHAW to connect at-risk senior veterans in Suffolk County to critical long-term services,” Okorn said in the statement.

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