The United States of America is home to some of the bravest men and women on the planet. These individuals who serve their country, though, don’t always receive the appropriate considerations. In fact, countless veterans are currently carrying a heavy stigma that often affects their ability to find a job. However, organizations across New Jersey are working to end the existence of this stigma.

Discussing the stigmas surrounding veterans is the focus for this episode of Caucus: New Jersey with Steve Adubato; in addition, the panel of guests discuss how mental health plays a role in the way communities see veterans. Show host Steve Adubato, PhD., led the discussion about how veterans’ mental health needs correlate with the challenges they face; specifically, their difficulty in securing a place in the workforce. The guests further shed light on mental health care services available to assist veterans in getting on the right track.

Diagnosing the Stigma Surrounding Veterans

Stigma Surrounding Veterans
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The panelists work to support the mental health care needs of veterans and better prepare them for civilian life. Guests included Licensed Social Worker Tim Arora, program coordinator of “Operation Veterans to Social Workers” at Family Connection NJ; Licensed Social Worker Wilfredo Rodriguez, a veterans’ healthcare specialist at Jewish Vocational Service of MetroWest NJ; Jack Fanous, executive director of GI Go Fund; and Licensed Clinical Social Worker Lori Ann Rizzuto, director of Atlantic Behavioral Health at Atlantic Health System.

The “stigma” that follows veterans after they return from their service can exist for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, this will often affect a veteran’s ability to gain employment.

“Sometimes employers don’t really understand what veterans bring to the table, or what type of individuals they are,” said Fanous. For example, “Sometimes there’s mental health concerns. Some of those mental health concerns are way blown out of proportion.”

Particularly, Fanous says that movies and television romanticize examples of post-traumatic stress disorder. In reality, that is a human condition, which affects us all. Want to learn more about the stigma surrounding veterans and how we can end it? Check out this edition of Caucus: New Jersey with Steve Adubato.

For more stories that impact New Jersey residents, click over to our Hot Topics in NJ series.


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