JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Jonesboro VFW has received $100,000 in a second CARES Act grant in order to maintain its current efforts and focus on the mental health of veterans.
It only took one day for the VFW to have its application for the grant approved, and senior vice commander Robert Murphy is looking to use every benefit to benefit local veterans.
Officials say 22 veterans commit suicide every day in America, and that statistic is the foundation behind Murphy and the VFW’s efforts to use over $50,000 to focus on veterans’ mental health.
More than $30,000 will be put into creating a network of mental health professionals that will work to identify and help treat those in need.
“So by doing this network, we feel like we will be able to reach out and identify these veterans that are starting to show or exhibit demonstrating signs of wanting to harm themselves or others. And maybe we can step in and intervene,” Murphy said.
$22,200 of the grant will go toward sending a dozen veterans that suffer from things like PTSD and severe anxiety to a course called “Advanced Warfighter” in Maryland. This week-long program will teach veterans how to cope and live with these issues.
The money not used on mental health will be invested in the Veteran’s Food Pantry. The pantry started in December 2020 and provides groceries for free to all veterans, regardless of income status.
With the investment, the program will run through the end of 2022.