Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Awards More Than $3.2 Million for Veterans' Mental Health Needs

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has announced ten grants totaling more than $4.4 million, of which nearly $3.28 million will be disbursed this year to help address the mental health needs of returning veterans.

Awarded through the foundation's Mental Health & Well-Being initiative, the grants include $330,700 to the New York Legal Assistance Group and $365,980 to the Connecticut Veterans Legal Clinic in support of a joint effort with the Department of Veterans Affairs to study the Medical-Legal Partnership model in VA settings; a two-year grant totaling $967,790 to Points of Light, the National Council for Behavioral Health, and Massachusetts General Hospital to partner with Outside the Wire on its Theater of War performances for military and civilian audiences in twenty-five U.S. cities; and $601,597 over two years to the Minnesota Veterans Medical Research and Education Foundation for a new program that will use pastoral counselors to address the issue of moral injury — killing or wounding others — among combat survivors.

Other recipients include the Medical Center Department of Behavioral Sciences at Rush University, which received $175,000 to complete an efficacy trial of its mental health services and recruit and enroll additional veterans into the program; the School of Public Health at Boston University, which was awarded a $1.05 million grant over two years to transform its self-directed Web-based protocol for controlling alcohol consumption as an approach to managing PTSD into a consumer-ready offering; the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which received a three-year, $750,000 matching grant to adapt the evidence-based NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program to the unique needs of families of active duty military personnel and veterans; and the Carter Center, which was awarded $95,118 to convene a summit with grantees and other leading experts in the field.

"Hundreds of thousands of veterans struggle with the challenges of re-integration — unemployment and marital stress, as well as the invisible wounds of PTSD and traumatic brain injury," said Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation president John Damonti. "The foundation's commitment to its partners will not only implement novel models of support for veterans and their families, but also provide much-needed evidence from scientific evaluations to help influence informed decisions for policy change."