Arizona Veteran Survey Results

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Dear Friends and Supporters,

I am proud to share insights from our fourth biennial survey, conducted in partnership with the ASU College of Health Solutions. This 2023 Arizona Veteran Survey marks eight years of dedicated efforts to gather self-reported data that provides a holistic view of the well-being of our service members, veterans, and their families across Arizona.

The importance of conducting this survey cannot be overstated. It equips us with the necessary information to tailor services, develop and evolve services, and ensure that our programs effectively meet the evolving needs of the community.

The survey yields critical insights that shape our initiatives in the coming years. Here are the significant findings and what we are doing to address these needs.

Mental Health

The Be Connected program was developed to create an ecosystem of support that works every day to eliminate barriers around access to mental health services. We work with our Arizona VA partners to host an annual Mental Health Summit, and provide workshops to community members, organizations, and employers, Be Connected services and support are now integrated into Arizona’s Medicaid program through our partnership with AHCCCS.

Employment Barriers

We work with employers across Arizona through the Arizona Veteran Supportive Employer program to ensure they recognize the value that service members, veterans, and their spouses add to their workforce and have programs to sustain success once these employees are onboarded. For career seekers, we have the Be Connected Career Navigation program that offers resume and interviewing training, employment search assistance, and SkillBridge opportunities.

Social Isolation

With many respondents feeling isolated, we are boosting our community-building initiatives, including peer support groups and social gatherings, to foster a sense of belonging and support among service members, veterans, and their family members. Our Coaching Into Connection program is available at no cost to help Arizona service members, veterans, and their family members make connections to community events, social opportunities, and hobbies such as sporting events or cooking classes.

Healthcare Utilization

The Arizona Coalition for Military Families counts among its longest-serving partners the VA healthcare resources across Arizona. Our support line can help you or a loved one connect to reputable resources to help avoid scams and connect to reputable healthcare and earned benefits support. Simply call 866-4AZ-VETS and ask about benefits and healthcare. We can also help with no-cost transportation services to get to wellness appointments and errands. 

Housing Stability

Housing instability and homelessness remain critical concerns. That’s why we partner with the Arizona Housing Coalition and communities across the state to participate in veteran standdown events – bringing our support services and programs right into the community to help veterans connect with support for housing, employment, and much more.

Transportation

A significant number of respondents reported that lack of transportation hindered their access to employment, education, and healthcare. In response, we provide robust transportation solutions tailored to the unique needs of the community through Be Connected Transportation.

Childcare Challenges

Many survey respondents listed challenges in accessing affordable and convenient childcare. Our Resource Portal has a variety of childcare resources available and further assistance for specific situations can be addressed by calling the Be Connected support line at 866-4AZ-VETS. 

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Suicide Prevention

We know that Arizona veterans have higher suicide rates than the general population. We’ve launched an innovative initiative with the Arizona Department of Health to understand factors that have led to suicide among Arizona veterans in to apply insights to inform future policies and programs to save more lives.

I extend my deepest gratitude to everyone who has participated in this survey and to our partners who helped us disseminate it. Each response adds to our understanding and strengthens our ability to serve. Together, we are building a more supportive, responsive, and understanding community for service members, veterans, and their family members.

For more information, please visit our website at www.ConnectVeterans.org/survey, where you can also find resources and get involved in our ongoing efforts to support Arizona’s military and veteran communities.

Warm regards,
Thomas Winkel
Director, Arizona Coalition for Military Families

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Be Connected and ConnectVeterans.org are provided in partnership by:

Special thanks to the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family for their partnership and support.

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