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(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Jack Conners, Cleopatra Tucker and Paul D. Moriarty sponsored to establish a veteran-to-veteran peer support telephone has received final legislative approval.
The bill (A-2616) would make permanent a program started by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, in conjunction with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. It was approved 78-0 by the Assembly and 36-0 by the Senate in late June and sent to the governor.
“The helpline is a great idea that receives and responds to calls from veterans, service members and their families,” said Conners (D-Burlington/Camden), chairman of the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “We sadly know all too well that many of our veterans need a helping hand once they’ve returned home, and hopefully a peer support program like this will encourage them to seek help when they need it.”
“This program provides New Jersey veterans and their families with access to a comprehensive network of mental health professionals specializing in post traumatic stress disorder and other veterans issues,” said Tucker (D-Essex). “It’s a great program and we should ensure it’s here to stay.”
“The services are free and confidential, and since its inception, the helpline has fielded more than 6,000 calls,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “It’s a valuable program that has already helped thousands of veterans in need after their service, and we need to make sure it continues to help veterans for years to come.”