Veterans’ Health

Grantee Name

Mental Health Association of New York City, Inc.

Funding Area

Veterans’ Health

Publication Date

August 2017

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

May 2015–February 2016

Veterans cope with a wide variety of mental health disorders, particularly traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Under federal mandate, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is required to collaborate with community-based mental health providers to better reach veterans and their families and connect them to needed services. One such collaboration is the Veterans Mental Health Coalition (VMHC), established by Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness-NYC. VMHC works to improve access to and quality of mental health and substance use services for veterans, service members, and their families.

In 2015, NYHealth awarded MHA-NYC a grant to advance VMHC’s mission and further meet the needs of returning veterans and their families. Specifically, VMHC convened stakeholders to discuss and promote the models and outcomes already underway in New York. Additionally, through a targeted print and social media campaign, VMHC accelerated partnerships between the VA and effective community mental health organizations and providers.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Hosted two events focused on sharing best practices and partnership opportunities within the veteran community. The events were attended by more than 100 members of the veteran community, including representatives from veteran service organizations, pertinent government agencies, and fellow funders;
  • Shared best practices with partners to increase the potential for future collaboration among relevant veteran service organizations; and
  • Demonstrated a clear need for a neutral convener to share information on best practices for partnerships in the veteran community.

See the event recap for the first convening co-hosted by NYHealth and MHA-NYC, “Public-Private Partnerships: Behavioral Health Needs of Veterans & Families.”

MHA-NYC originally aimed to launch a targeted print and social media campaign to accelerate partnerships between the VA and mental health organizations and providers. It issued a press release through VMHC, conducted social media outreach, and authored a blog post in HuffPost. However, evolving priorities and staff turnover at MHA-NYC prevented media outreach from being executed to its full potential.

To supplement its outreach efforts, MHA-NYC hosted a second event to expand on ideas shared during the first convening. The event focused on how small- and mid-sized organizations could partner together to expand behavioral health services for veterans and their families.

Co-Funding and Additional Funds Leveraged: N/A