In order to track how our efforts are doing in providing free mental health care to military service men and women and their families, Give an Hour conducts surveys every three months, asking our volunteer mental health professionals to let us know how many hours they have contributed. We are excited to report an increase of nearly 8,000 hours donated, not including volunteer hours spent on operations, between April and June 2012. This is a huge increase over previous quarters, when an average of 3,000 hours have been reported as donated, and no doubt reflects our efforts to reach out to members of the military, raise awareness, reduce stigma, and recruit and engage providers. Some of the ways that Give an Hour is conducting outreach are:• Creating a series of public service announcements that have been aired on radio and television stations and on a jumbotron in Times Square in New York City.• Working with branches of the military and Department of Veterans Affairs to reach their personnel. For example, GAH has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the VA’s Veterans Crisis Line.• Participating in resource fairs that target military families. In addition, Give an Hour has received publicity attracting more volunteers and requests for service due to the honors garnered over the past few months. The White House’s Joining Forces Initiative recognized Give an Hour as one of five winners of the Joining Forces Community Challenge. Also, Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen was named one of the one hundred most influential people in the world by Time Magazine for her work as Founder and President of Give an Hour. In addition to the tremendous honor we feel because of this recognition, we also believe that the attention surrounding these awards will allow GAH to recruit more mental health providers, reach more military families and persuade more to seek care if they are in need. Attached is a link to one of the PSAs that has appeared in Times Square this summer.
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