Elsie Cruz is a US Navy Veteran, a member of the CarePlus Addiction Recovery team, as well as a case manager and Veteran Outreach Coordinator. In honor of Veteran’s Day, Rebecca Greene from TAPinto Fair Lawn/Glen Rock interviewed Cruz in an article entitled: “Veteran Uses Her PTSD To Support Other Veterans: A Story of Courage & Victory”:
Since 2001, the United States has deployed 2.8 million individuals to support operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since that time, suicide rates have jumped substantially among young military veterans, according to statistics from CarePlus NJ. Specifically, higher rates of suicide occur in Afghanistan and Iraq veterans aged 18-34 than any other age group. As the extent of veterans’ mental health needs has become clearer, efforts to expand access to care and improve quality have become national priorities.
Cruz is a Veterans Outreach Coordinator for CarePlus NJ, based in Paramus and with offices in Fair Lawn. Care Plus NJ is a pioneer in integrated primary, mental and behavioral health services for adults and children. Cruz recently discussed the unique challenges facing the health care needs of New Jersey’s 355,766 veterans and how Care Pus NJ is working to provide solutions for these issues.