Vermont Receives Over $2 Million to Support At-Risk Veterans

first_imgVermont Receives Over $2 Million to Support At-Risk VeteransWaterbury, VT-The Vermont Agency of Human Services (AHS) Department of Mental Health (DMH) has announced the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded Vermont a five year, $2.1 million grant to create an infrastructure project to serve veterans of all conflicts with trauma-spectrum illnesses, who are at risk or have already become involved with the criminal justice system.”Vermont’s veterans, who have so selflessly protected the liberties we all enjoy, deserve the most caring, compassionate services we can provide to them when they are in need,” said Governor Jim Douglas. “Vermont has a proud tradition of providing these supports to our state’s veterans, and we are truly pleased that the federal government has recognized the quality of these services through their support of this new initiative.”The grant will support the creation of a statewide intergovernmental initiative intended to address the needs of Vermont veterans and other adults with trauma spectrum-illness who are involved in the criminal justice system through identification, screening and assessment, and diversion from the criminal justice system to evidence-based treatment and supports.During the project’s first three years, DMH will pilot its infrastructure and intervention model in Chittenden County, screening an estimated 14,000 veterans and other adults in the criminal justice system for trauma-related illness and diverting an estimated 300 from detention to evidence-based treatment and supports. In years three through five, the project will progress toward statewide implementation, screening approximately an additional 24,500 adults and diverting roughly 525 to treatment. Over the grant term, about 38,500 adults will be screened and roughly 825 will be diverted to evidence-based care, resulting in increased access to trauma informed services and evidence-based trauma treatment and community supports for these veterans.”The Agency of Human Services is fully committed to ensuring that veterans and their families have access to comprehensive supports, particularly through our involvement with the Military, Family and Community Network and our promotion of the employment of veterans through our Division for Vocational Rehabilitation,” said Cynthia D. LaWare, Secretary of AHS. “This SAMHSA grant to our Department of Mental Health will enable us to leverage existing resources as we continue to help at-risk veterans achieve success and support successful community reintegration.””This grant will enhance current efforts by DMH, the Department of Corrections, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program Division of the Health Department, and the Court Administrator to focus on better interventions for persons involved with or at risk of involvement with the criminal justice system,” added DMH Commissioner Michael Hartman. “Together with ongoing efforts by the Veterans Administration and local veterans groups, this grant will help more veterans access valuable services and supports.”DMH and community partners are currently working out the details of a plan to implement these expanded services for veterans.#####last_img read more

Canada’s Conservatives pick O’Toole to challenge PM Trudeau

first_imgCanada’s main opposition Conservative Party on Monday elected Erin O’Toole, a former cabinet minister and armed forces veteran, to be its new leader and the primary challenger to Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.O’Toole replaces Andrew Scheer, who failed to unseat Trudeau in an election last year.In the leadership race, O’Toole beat out the better known Peter MacKay, who co-founded the Conservative Party in 2003 and was a high-profile member of former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper’s government, and two other candidates. A member of parliament from the most populous province of Ontario, O’Toole had twice before lost bids to lead the party. He takes over as Trudeau’s Liberals lead in national polls.Support for the Liberals surged as the government spent hundreds of billions of dollars in emergency aid during the pandemic, but they have lost ground in recent weeks amid an ethics scandal involving Trudeau and his former finance minister, Bill Morneau.Liberals would get 36.4% of the votes if an election were held today, while the Conservatives would win 29.9%, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp’s poll tracker, an aggregate of recent surveys.One of O’Toole’s challenges will be to lure back voters in urban centers such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal that have more parliamentary seats than rural areas. They were Liberal strongholds in the past two national elections.O’Toole must “make inroads into the urban ridings and suburban ridings” and “be able to appeal to swing voters who held their noses and voted for the Liberals” last year, said Shachi Kurl, executive director of non-profit polling group the Angus Reid Institute.In his acceptance speech, O’Toole reached out to left-leaning voters, saying there was room for them in the Conservative Party.The son of a retired Ontario politician, O’Toole was first elected in 2012 in a by-election and served briefly as veterans affairs minister in Harper’s cabinet from February to November 2015.O’Toole joined the Royal Canadian Air Force at 18, working as a helicopter navigator before transferring to the Canadian Forces reserves in 2000.He then pursued a law degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, returning to Ontario upon graduation and working as a corporate lawyer.He and his wife Rebecca have two children.  The campaign was overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic. The results, announced in a virtual convention broadcast from Ottawa, were delayed at least five hours by mechanical problems with the machines opening nearly 175,000 ballot envelopes.While there is no vote looming, Trudeau needs the support of at least one of three opposition parties to stay in power, and a crucial confidence vote on the government’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan is expected in late September.”The Conservative Party will be ready for the next election and we will win the next election,” O’Toole said in his acceptance speech, delivered after 1 a.m. ET (0500 GMT).O’Toole, a 47-year-old father of two, describes himself as a “true blue Conservative” and has vowed to “put Canada first” while helping families and the economy recover from the coronavirus crisis.center_img Topics :last_img read more