The Personal Sacrifice 

The men and women of the United States Armed Forces sacrifice personally for our collective national interest. For many veterans, this sacrifice means injuries and wounds. Many of these wounds are physical, but many are psychological as well. Some sobering veteran mental health statistics include:

          • A suicide rate 1.5 times greater than the general population;
          • A PTSD rate of 11-20% for those serving in Vietnam and subsequent conflicts; and
          • Veterans are diagnosed with severe depression at a rate double that of the general population.

While much is being done by both the public and private sector to help veterans, these statistics are strong evidence that our work is not yet finished. Effectively addressing the mental health needs of veteran means looking at what mental health services are provided to our veterans and whether those services are helping. The best place to start this process is to listen to real stories of our veterans themselves to learn more and understand their perspectives.


Raising Awareness of VORP

The Veterans Outreach and Recovery Program is a unique initiative that provides comprehensive, community-based services for veterans, with a focus on mental health and substance abuse prevention. Despite strong bipartisan support and recognition as a “National Innovative Program”, not all veteran populations are aware of the resources. The Jason Simcakoski Foundation recognizes the positive impact these sustained, veteran specific services have on the community and has created a publicity campaign to raise awareness. In partnership with Secretary Mary Kolar and the Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs, the Foundation will target specific VORP regions to raise awareness of the program among veterans and to advocate for increased funding support to expand these services state-wide.