Swords to Plowshares has developed several publications that highlight the issues facing veteran communities. We aim to raise awareness and inform stakeholders who can work together to improve the systems of care veterans and their families need.
Overview of this Reference Guide: the demographics and cultural characteristics of service members, veterans and their families from all eras, the scale and scope of issues veterans may encounter, availability and limitations of federal resources for veterans.
Research suggests there is high value in including peer support specialists in mental health care. Peer support specialists can increase the comfort level with seeking mental health care and the effectiveness of treatment itself. These positions should be recognized as professionals and a formal part of the clinical model.
At the onset of the COVID-19, pandemic researchers warned that the pandemic would result in a substantial increase in opioid overdose deaths due to a confluence of factors including isolation, poor mental health, health disparities, and homelessness among opioid users. This prediction was unfortunately confirmed.
Current engagement and treatment models are not reaching underserved communities effectively. Mental health approaches need to amplify the lived experience of veterans of color and engage these communities with a wellness model that explores their cultural values, experiences, and connection to their ancestral traditions.
Swords with @Lawyer4Warriors, @lathamwatkins, @LSCatHarvardLaw, and many other advocates sent a letter urging @VADepSec to expand VA care to vets with less-than-honorable discharges-many of whom live with PTSD and experience homelessness-within his first 100 days in office:
Our recommendations reflect over four decades of direct community-based service delivery to veterans of all eras, regardless of discharge. Our research and policy efforts are informed by the work we do—providing transitional and permanent supportive housing, mental health support, employment and legal services—each and every day.
Swords to Plowshares and the National Veterans Legal Service Program (“Petitioners”) submit these comments in response to the proposed rule issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (“VA”) on July 10, 2020 (“Proposed Rule”).
In order to understand the financial challenges and needs of student veterans, Swords to Plowshares conducted eleven online focus groups and three in-person research workshops with seventy-seven student veterans in California from forty colleges and universities in 2019 and early 2020.
This toolkit is not exhaustive and not intended to be. This research is peer-based, gathered from those who went through it, and learned from their experiences and solutions.