Jackson Officer Creates Successful Support Group For Veterans

Officer John Roth (Photo courtesy Mental Health Association in New Jersey)

JACKSON – A Jackson Township Police Officer created a non-profit that is seeing a great positive impact on the military veteran community.

Officer John Roth, also a former member of the United States Marine Corp, is offering opportunity to the military veteran population by establishing a support group where they can transition from active duty to civilians here in Ocean County. This program is called Recalibrate.

“The goals are to ensure that it’s as smooth and successful as possible, both physically and mentally, and to reduce the struggles experienced by those coming back,” said Roth.

Recalibrate’s support groups are facilitated in conjunction with the Mental Health Association of Ocean County, which also encourages a positive relationship between the mental health community and law enforcement.

Roth is not only a former member of the USMC, and an officer, but he is also an instructor with the Crisis Intervention Team, which aims to improve law enforcement response to mental illness.

The support groups have a consistent turnout with both males and females age 23-55 attending. Roth has been facilitating these monthly support groups since May.

“This endeavor is the first of its kind in New Jersey,” said one of Roth’s colleagues. “I hope to see other communities duplicating our partnership.”

Recalibrate helps support these veterans by providing them a space for open and honest discussion where they can talk about a whole host of topics, from employment to PTSD.

“Being a veteran myself, I see this is important work. We know we lose 22 Veterans a day to suicide. Peers are needed to support one another,” said Roth.

Not only this, but Roth has also established community partnerships at places such as Apache CrossFit of Toms River, where Recalibrate members get together and work out monthly, for free.

Roth intends to expand the group and its collaborative activates to even include family members, such as camping or beach trips. This is a priority in terms of reconnecting and re-establishing relationships, he added.

Moving forward, Roth said he will be working to expand partnerships and arrange for speakers to address members of Recalibrate.

For more information about Recalibrate, call John at 732-244-0940 or email [email protected].

Recalibrate meetings are held 6:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at Journey to Wellness Center, 25 S. Shore Drive, Toms River.