New 3-digit National Suicide Prevention & Crisis
"Lifeline" Phone Number Now in Operation

NM DVS

A new 3-digit phone number – 988 – has replaced the existing and often hard-to-remember 10-digit national suicide prevention and crisis phone number.

Veterans or service members facing a crisis can simply dial 988 and press option “1” to be immediately linked to the same U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs support system featured with the old phone number. The old number remains active and reroute calls to the new 988 system.

Mental health advocates hope calling 988 will replace emergency calls to 911 for mental health crises. According to the VA, while 911 dispatchers are prepared to send first responders and support callers during an emergency, staffers linked to the 988 number are counselors specifically trained to immediately handle distraught callers, access records, and send help.

New Mexico Joins National
Veterans Suicide Prevention Program

Learn more about the National Strategy
for Preventing Veteran Suicide – Click HERE.

DVS is committed to supporting New Mexico’s 148,000 veterans and their families.
Learn more about DVS – Click HERE.

Impact DWI is a community action and advocacy organization, which puts an emphasis on ending alcohol abuse in New Mexico, and is run strictly by volunteers. We are based in Santa Fe, and have been in operation since 1999. We are a tax-exempt corporation operating under section 501 c (3) of the internal revenue code.

For more information click here…

U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs

Helping our Veterans and Their Families
Beyond the Battlefield


We change the lives of Veterans and their families daily by providing:

Learn more and contact them for assistance
or to make a donation – Click HERE.

New Mexico’s Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS)
provides information on services and resources helpful to our veterans in NM. 
Learn more – Click HERE

NM VFP Chapter 63 named for Sally-Alice and Donald Thompson

by Sue Wolinsky, Family Member (IL Army National Guard)

Sally-Alice Thompson and her late husband, Donald, were founders of the Albuquerque Chapter 63 of Veterans for Peace in 1988. That was just three years after the national organization was formed by 10 U.S. veterans in response to the global nuclear arms race and U.S. military interventions in Central America, according to the VFP website. The chapter was named for Sally-Alice and Donald because of their courageous peace advocacy throughout their lifetimes. Like Sally-Alice, Donald was known for his relentless political activism, which included running for office several times, according to his June 2, 2011 obituary in The Albuquerque Journal.

Though Chapter 63 initially was only in Albuquerque, it has branched out to other areas in New Mexico. Now it has ~70 members in Albuquerque, Socorro and Winston (near Truth or Consequences). The group meets monthly.

Read more…

Healing Americas Heroes
Equine and Piscatorial Assisted Therapy 
by Claudia Risner, Chair

Eddie Crain is a Vietnam war veteran, U.S. Army, who founded Healing America’s Heroes (HAH) in 2014 to assist fellow veterans who are struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). When I met with Eddie he said that the high rate of suicide by military veterans in America – an average of 22 a day – is heart-breaking and motivates him to do something about it.

I asked how riding horses or fly fishing or fly-tying helped. Eddie explained that these recreational therapies force a person to use both sides of their brain, calms the chatter, and builds trust in a relationship (with the horse). This video tells the story.

Ted Skibyak (photo on the right) is a Veteran in recovery with PTSD, TBI, and depression. He credits the HAH wellness program and Cracker, his gentle 32-year-old gray Arabian equine partner, with helping him realize that he is still able to do many things despite losing his right arm in a crash. The partners have been working together since the winter of 2018 and have assisted about a dozen men and women from 8 to 60 years old, both veterans and non-veterans. Ted is a Certified Peer Support Worker (CPSW). Ted nominated Cracker for the NM Department of Behavioral Health John Henry Award, which Cracker was then awarded.

Veterans who are accepted for the one-week long immersion style wellness program will spend their time in a beautiful B&B setting in Northern New Mexico on an 8-acre ranch on a river. Programs are for men and women (but not coed) and they are free of charge to the veteran. HAH is a 501 c-3 non-profit organization funded through grants. They are currently based in Chama, NM.To learn more about their wellness programs or to donate to help them help others visit their website HERE.

John with Paws & Stripes

Paws and Stripes

Saving Lives - Two at a Time

Paws and Stripes has worked in New Mexico for over a decade to provide not only service dogs to veterans living with the effects of trauma from their service, but also ongoing support, education, and mental health assistance.  With real limitations to consistent care at the VA, many veterans spend years seeking reliable and accessible resources might help them regain their lives, or even just to regain some semblance of hope.   

Read more…

 veterandogs@pawsandstripes.org or Lindsey Kay(505) 999-1201

Meet our Sierra Club Liaison

by Chris Calvert (USAF vet)

Greetings fellow caucus members, my name is Chris Calvert, and I am the caucus liaison with the Sierra Club. Currently I serve as chair of the Veteran’s Advisory Board (VAB) for the City of Santa Fe.  

Read more…

teowen@comcast.net or Terry Owen (505) 301-4349

 

 

Read more about the end of the Afghan war, our feelings about it, and resources for coping.
CLICK HERE…