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A great deal of research support early identification and intervention as a means of reducing myriad of health and mental health problems (Hoel, 1998; Taylor, Adelman, & Howard, 2000). Additionally it is clear that collaborations and partnerships are essential in effective health promotion and service delivery in the context of limited financial and human resources (Anderson, Guthrie, & Schirle, 2002; Rubin, 1998). As we are challenged to find new ways to promote efficient service delivery, many endorse the development of partnership building strategies.

KEY ISSUE 1

Establish an interagency task force to provide leadership to expand the role and capacity of communities to effectively address the needs of returning soldiers and their families.

Recommendation A: Maximize and align existing resources for addressing diverse needs.

Strategies:

  • 1.

    Identify of all key stakeholders to assist in implementing the recommendations contained in this report.

  • 2.

    Develop specific plans and timelines for implementing the recommendations and strategies contained in this

report.

  • 3.

    Gather broad public input to identify specific needs of returning veterans and their families.

  • 4.

    Monitor federal, private and other funding opportunities for the implementation of the blueprint.

Recommendation B: Review and generate recommendations to address the specific needs of children of deployed or returning soldiers involved in the educational system.

  • 1.

    Work with the Rhode Island Department of Education and/or Student Assistance Program to identify needs of children of deployed and/or returning soldiers.

  • 2.

    Identify existing programs and generate recommendations for teachers, student assist counselors and other key personnel within the educational system to implement when a child or a deployed and/or returning soldier is identified.

Recommendation C: Develop unified strategies to drive changes in the behavioral health care system.

Strategies:

  • 1.

    Generate recommendations for improving state-level operations, reducing duplication of effort and facilitating communication

  • 2.

    Work with existing government organizations to assess the current administrative practices and propose changes to support interagency collaboration.

  • 3.

    Ensure vet-to-vet program dissemination to community-based organizations.

  • 4.

    Ensure availability of and access to programs for veterans and families as needed.

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