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Group launches new mental health, financial resource website for veterans

(Colin E. Braley/AP Images for Aspen Dental)

PHOENIX — Arizona veterans now have a one-stop shop to find mental health, financial and other services.

BeConnectedAZ launched Wednesday at the eighth annual statewide Symposium in Support of Service Members, Veterans and Families. The effort is coordinated by the Arizona Coalition for Military Families.

“Sometimes people will say, ‘You know, I need these resources, but I don’t know where to turn to,’” coalition spokeswoman Kelly Anne Beck said. “This way, it’s kind of a centralized location to be able to find those resources.”

The aim of the new program is twofold: To provide a place for veterans to obtain services and get them the help they need to prevent suicide.

“These are exciting times,” retired Air Force Col. Wanda Wright, who heads the Arizona Department of Veterans Services, said.

“As these programs come together, you see how the network is getting tighter and tighter across the state so that we catch more veterans because that’s what they deserve.”

Wright told the 600 symposium attendees knowing someone cares and helping hands are there does wonders for veterans dealing with trauma. She said she once stopped a veteran in a store and asked him where he’d served and how he was doing.

“Two questions I asked,” she said. “And I know that he knows now that someone in the community cares about him.”