Give an Hour™ Provides Free and Confidential Mental Health Care
Over 2.6 million troops have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since the wars began more than a decade ago. The stress and strain of lengthy, repeated deployments and war itself can adversely affect people of all ages, races, ranks, and education levels. It affects those who serve and those who love them. According to state records, 226 Arizona veterans took their own lives in 2013.
Give an Hour, a national nonprofit providing serving the military community since 2005, is recruiting licensed mental health professionals to join its network and donate an hour of their time each week to provide free mental health services to members of the military, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, their loved ones, and their communities.
“Most who come home from war will reintegrate successfully into their communities, and many will continue to lead by example as they take on important roles in cities and neighborhoods. But some service members, family members, and veterans will struggle with the understandable mental health consequences of war,” says Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, Give an Hour founder and president.
Locating and accessing this assistance is not always easy. Cost is often an issue as is availability of appropriate care within communities where service members, veterans, and their families live. While there is more acceptance of the importance of mental health care for those who serve and their families today, there are still many who are suffering unnecessarily because they lack an understanding of the issues that affect them or are unaware of options available to them.
Give an Hour’s services range from one-on-one counseling to marital and family services and from post-traumatic stress or grief counseling to substance abuse treatment, addressing the many needs of the individuals and families of the armed services. Give an Hour providers are also available to consult to other organizations about the mental health issues affecting those who serve. And they are available to give presentations at community gatherings and reintegration events. The approximately 7,000 licensed mental health professionals working with Give an Hour have contributed over 155,000 hours in support of our troops and their families. These volunteers include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, pastoral counselors, and other mental health professionals. Providers are located across the country—in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam.
Give an Hour offers an important option for the men, women and families who serve our country by providing services in the community at no cost to those in need. And, there is no limit to the number of sessions one can receive; help is available for as long as it is needed.
“We are proud of the opportunity to bring the military and mental health community together as we strive to provide critical services to these deserving men, women, and families,” notes Dr. Van Dahlen.
Licensed mental health professionals who are interested in volunteering their time on the Give an Hour network should visit www.giveanhour.org for more information.
Southern Arizona Psychological Association