The Boeing company partners with top veteran service and housing provider, a safe haven foundation, to launch the suicide prevention and intervention program IN CHICAGO
November 2, 2017 (Chicago, IL)—A Safe Haven Foundation (ASHF) was among the more than 500 nonprofit organizations across the world that The Boeing Company named as one of its partner organizations, supporting veterans’ recovery and rehabilitation and transition services. Under the leadership of A Safe Haven’s president, Neli Vazquez Rowland and the Clinical Director, Dr. Monique Cleminson, PhD, the program will target Veterans Behavioral Health over the next 12 months, and expand its trauma-informed mental health service delivery and engagement, in order to increase awareness and reduce Suicide risks and PTSD symptoms in military veterans living independently. Research has shown that psychological interventions are significant factors in reducing suicide, and the goal of the research will be to provide Veterans with constructive self-help practices, and enhanced insight of maladaptive behavior and thinking patterns in order to create the protective factors needed to reduce suicide risk.
The initiative appropriately named R.I.S.E. (Resources-Information-Support-Empowerment) Veteran’s Initiative, will provide mental health assessments, case management, and therapeutic individual and group counseling to veterans and their families throughout the Chicagoland area.
As highlighted in The Boeing Company’s press release, Dennis Muilenberg, Boeing’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer stated, “We aspire to be a top performer in every area of our business, and that includes leading in the communities where our employees and their families live and work. By harnessing our teammates’ unique skills and passion for giving, our professional networks and partnerships, and our financial resources, we will inspire the dreamers and doers of tomorrow and drive positive, lasting change in our communities across the globe.”
ASHF was co-founded by Brian M. Rowland, an Army Military Veteran, and Neli Vazquez Rowland. Since its inception ASHF has been committed to ending veteran’s homelessness and has since developed comprehensive programs to address Veterans behavioral health. From the beginning, ASHF’s leadership were keenly aware of the plight of veterans and the challenges they faced as they transitioned back home. Thus, since its founding in 1994, ASHF has provided comprehensive social, housing and economic development services to over 15,000 military veterans and their families. Most veterans arrive at ASHF suffering from chronic homelessness with multiple barriers to independent living – e.g., substance abuse, chronic health issues, mental health and various levels of cognitive and physical disabilities. ASHF leverages funding from various resources to provide substance abuse treatment; workforce development and evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy to households assessed in need of these services. A multidisciplinary team approach is used to address various needs of recovery and other mental health services pre- and post-transition to supportive housing.
“It’s an honor to partner with one of America’s top businesses to align our interests and leverage our resources and best practices to address one of the biggest challenges facing the nation’s heroes today. These crucial resources will allow us to help fill another gap in funding along with our public and private partners—including the United States Department of Veteran Affairs—to successfully meet the urgent needs and transition our military veterans in crisis to their highest level of independence, with comprehensive human services, employment, and the opportunity to live the American Dream. It is the dream they faithfully and courageously fought so hard to defend for the rest of us,” said A Safe Haven’s president, Neli Vazquez Rowland.
Throughout the United States it is estimated that 22 veterans per day commit suicide; since 2001, more veterans have died in this manner than on the battlefield. These findings, published in 2012 by the Veteran’s Administration (VA), point to a distinct need for increased Behavioral Health services available to veterans. The state of mental healthcare for Veterans in Chicago is reflective of national trends. According to a 2016 report by Loyola University Chicago and the University of Southern California, between 240,000 and 360,000 service members leave the U.S. military each year, transitioning from military life and returning to our communities. These service members join the almost 22 million veterans with a history of service in the U.S. Armed Forces. Numerous concerns have been raised surrounding the well-being of today’s veterans, including reintegration into civilian life, employment challenges, physical and mental health issues, and homelessness. Many communities are beginning to examine how they might take ownership in providing services that adequately address the needs of veterans within their community.