Give an Hour and the Army National Guard: Addressing Mental Health Needs of Our Country’s Defenders
Give an Hour (GAH) is honored to announce that we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Army National Guard to address the pressing mental health needs of its members and their families.
Studies have shown that the types of mental health needs of Guard members are similar to those for regular active duty military, but a greater percentage of Guard members who deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq are affected by mental health issues. For example, a 2010 American Journal of Public Health article reports that six months after returning home 35.5% of the deployed Guard members suffer from PTSD vs. 27.1% of regular military. In addition to reporting higher rates of mental health issues, the lack of accessibility to counseling exacerbates problems as Guard members return to their home communities rather than to military bases after deployments and often live far away from services. There are constant reminders that these valiant men and women need support, such as the ten suicides during the week of April 22, 2013, among Guard members. The Guard is aware of these pressing needs and has been working on finding all possible ways to address the issues, but more needs to be done.
By working together, Give an Hour and the Army National Guard will be able to greatly increase both the availability of and knowledge about mental health services. We plan outreach to all Guard units and to recruit and train more mental health professionals to ensure help is available in every community. Our country’s National Guard members serve during peace as well as war, always ready for crises ranging from natural disasters to foreign conflicts. Please join the National Guard and Give an Hour in providing the best support possible.
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Director of Communications and Partnerships