A helpline for NJ military veterans relies on fellow vets
Veterans face many post-service challenges. New Jersey Vet-2-Vet is a source of help for many problems encountered by these men and women.
Program manager Terrell McCain, a Marine combat veteran, says they help vets navigate through the Veterans Affairs system, post-traumatic stress disorder issues, anxiety, depression, marital problems, housing and employment.
McCain says they can make a face-to-face connection and make followup calls.
"Let's say you have someone that calls in and they are saying that they are exhibiting stressers related to post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. We will talk for about 30 minutes or so and then we will give them a couple of resources that we suggest that they can try."
They provide help through peer-to-peer counseling by trained staffers who are themselves veterans. Since 2005, they have fielded more than 30,000 calls.
"We also follow up with the callers to see if those resources were successful and helpful."
According to McCain, this line is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.
"You will not be hearing a telephonic message or anything of that sort. You will be talking to a live person."
The New Jersey Vet2Vet helpline number is 866-838-7654. McCain says they can remain anonymous and it is confidential.
Vets with problems can also can contact them through njveteranshelpline.org.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5