Senator Jen Metzger (SD-42) was able to secure funding in the 2020-2021 State Budget to expand the widely lauded Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Project to Sullivan and Ulster Counties, which will provide peer-to-peer counseling and support to veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, and other mental health issues. Senator Metzger also successfully advocated for restoring full funding to existing Dwyer programs, including Orange County’s highly successful Vet2Vet program.
“The Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Project is one of New York’s best programs to assist and support veterans suffering from the invisible wounds of war and can save lives,” said Senator Metzger. “I fought hard for this program in this year’s budget, and I am thrilled that veterans in Sullivan and Ulster Counties will now be able to benefit from this model program, as veterans in Orange County have. Having access to these peer-to-peer resources is particularly important in rural communities, where isolation is a greater problem and a significant contributing factor to higher suicide rates. Our veterans have served our country bravely and sacrificed for us, and we owe it to them to provide them with the support and services they need to thrive.”
The Dwyer Project began in 2012 as a pilot partnership between the Suffolk County United Veterans Program and the Suffolk County Veterans Service Agency and has been so successful that the program has been extended to 23 counties across the state, thanks to state funding. At a February press conference in Albany, Senator Metzger joined members of the Senate’s Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee in calling for funding in this year’s state budget to extend the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Project to other counties.