Give an Hour

Give an Hour was founded to meet the mental health needs of the troops and families affected by the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Over 300,000 returning troops suffer from severe depression or PTSD, over 320,000 have suffered a traumatic brain injury, and only half have sought treatment.) Licensed mental health providers commit to donate an hour of free counseling per week.
Oct 14, 2016

It's Time to Change the Culture of Mental Health in America

Do you know the five signs?
Do you know the five signs?

In 2016, Give an Hour celebrates eleven years of providing free mental health care to those who serve and their families. Our generous volunteer mental health professionals are the heart and soul of Give an Hour. Although the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are no longer front-page news, our providers, continue to answer the call to serve those in need. 

Thanks to the collective effort of the members of our national network Give an Hour has now provided over 200,000 hours – valued at over $20 million – of free care to our nation’s service members, veterans and their families since we began our work over a decade ago. At Give an Hour we are very proud to serve those who serve.

Give an Hour began as a simple idea back in 2005: ask mental health professionals to give an hour of their time each week to provide free care to the men, women, and families who serve our nation.

In 2015 we launched a complementary effort to address the cultural barriers that prevent those in need – service members, veterans and civilians – from receiving help. 

Give an Hour launched the Campaign to Change Direction, a collective impact effort to change the culture of mental health in America. This movement encourages all Americans to take care of their emotional well-being as they do their physical well-being, and it encourages all of us to learn the Five Signs of emotional suffering so that those in need receive the care and support they deserve.

We are proud that 240 organizations have joined our coalition. And we are honored that many of the organizations leading the way are our partners from the veteran and military service community.

In addition, many celebrities and leaders have stepped up to join this critical effort including: First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, Richard Gere, Brian Wilson, Chris Stapleton and Prince Harry. 

We are grateful to the generous donors who support our efforts through Global Giving platform. We encourage you to learn the Five Signs at: www.changedirection.org.

Thank you.

Healthy Families Know the Five Signs
Healthy Families Know the Five Signs
Show Us You Know the Five Signs
Show Us You Know the Five Signs
It
It's time to change the culture of mental health.

Links:

Jul 22, 2016

Building Healthier Communities

A response to a national tragedy 

Give an Hour™ (www.giveanhour.org), a national nonprofit organization providing mental health services at no cost to members of our nation's military and veteran communities,joins with citizens, organizations, and communities across the country in mourning the loss of so many victims of violence over the past month.

In keeping with our tradition of offering our services to other groups in need, Give an Hour made available its network of mental health professionalsto victims, families, and first responders dealing with the aftermath of the Orlando and Dallas tragedies. Our network includes thousands of licensed mental health practitioners trained in assisting individuals coping with trauma and recovering from crises and violence.

"We know that the impact of this trauma will have a profound and long-lasting affect on many of those touched by this horrific act of violence," says Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour, adding, "Give an Hour is committed to ensuring that those who are suffering receive the help and support they deserve."

Heidi, who practices in Orlando, has been one of our 7,000 providers since 2011. She knew that Give an Hour had a history of opening doors to the civilian community. She reached out directly to Dr. Van Dahlen and was “blown away and grateful for the response.”

Personally touched and horrified by the events in her hometown, Heidi began to email her friends in the mental health community. She created a video and reached out to over 1000 therapists in Central Florida and asked them to sign up for Give an Hour. She used social media to reach the extended population and to let families and friends of those impacted know “that help was out there. The greatest challenge continues to be to identify those who have been affected. The circle of influence is so much broader than families of those who have been shot or killed.”

Heidi credits her parents with having trained her well. She says, “Volunteering is in my blood.” Not having served in the military herself, she views Give an Hour as a way of saying thank you to members of the military, veterans, and their families.

With a Master’s in both social work and public health from Boston University, Heidi was working at the VA during September 11th. It was there that the veteran community stole her heart. When she moved back to her hometown of Orlando, Heidi became a Give an Hour licensed mental health therapist, providing individual counseling and going on Wounded Warrior retreats. She fell in love with the work, encouraging clients to use our services and urging colleagues in the mental health community to join our network. She networks frequently, speaks, teaches and promotes Give an Hour. She often encounters people who break down in tears when they find out that they can receive free and confidential services through Give an Hour. 

“I have been in this field a long time (27+ years now!), and I love seeing my clients get better. They are able to heal their marriages or relationships. Their anxiety goes way down; they handle stress much more easily. They get the results they want. They are able to reduce or completely stop using, if that is their goal. They are feeling happy, and they have more internal peace in their lives. 

I believe a person seeking help already has the inherent ability to “be ok” deep down and I can help you tap into your inner peace. I can teach you skills to help you improve your mood, choose healthier ways to cope with stress, and deepen your sense of satisfaction with life. My goal is to help you be your best authentic self.”

Read Heidi’s blog -

https://feelpeacenow.com/you-are-here/#

Give an Hour is grateful to our providers who generously contribute to the well-being of those who have served and other communities. Heidi and fellow mental health providers form the backbone of our network and are helping to build healthier communities around the U.S.

Mental health professionals interested in joining Give an Hour can complete an easy online form by clicking on "Give Help" at www.giveanhour.org.

Those seeking help from Give an Hour can visit www.giveanhour.org and click on “Get Help" to locate a provider in their area.

Give an Hour is grateful to our Global Giving donors who support oour mission.  Thank you.   

Links:

Apr 20, 2016

A Give an Hour Provider Continues to Serve

Getting ready to Jump, circa 1990
Getting ready to Jump, circa 1990

Give an Hour (GAH) was founded in 2005 to provide free, confidential, and unlimited mental health services to members of the military, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, their loved ones, and their communities.

Founded by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, a clinical psychologist who recognized that more needed to be done to meet the mental health care needs of troops and families affected by post-9/11 conflicts, she reached out to colleagues asking them to donate their services to those experiencing emotional suffering.

Give an Hour strives to address societal needs through volunteerism and collective efforts, and has shown the powerful and positive effect of giving on those who give and those who receive.

Give an Hour helps those in need though a network of 7,000 volunteer providers, who have donated more than 184,000 hours of care, valued at $18 million worth of services. We rely on practitioners to care for those who protect us. 

John is one of those practitioners. He is a licensed, independent, clinical social worker and has been a Give an Hour provider since 2014. John started out in the US Army Special Forces as an Operations Sergeant, prior to earning his Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Washington.

John describes himself as “a listener” and states that his “purpose is to be of service to others.” His actions reflect this sentiment. John is typically working with three Give an Hour clients at any given time, as well as assisting with outreach events, including speaking presentations and consulting with the staff of community partners.

When asked why he donates his time, John says, “I have a strong affection for, and appreciation of, our military community. I appreciated that Give an Hour recognized the need for support, not only for our veterans, but for their families as well. I am aware that I have received a gift, to be on the journey I find myself on, and this is a way to be of service and put my gratitude into action.”

“There is a moment when the person sitting across from me realizes, and internalizes, that they are being heard, seen, valued, and accepted…for who they are… [and] when that client is a veteran, or a military family member, there seems to be a “rightness” in that moment, almost like balance is being restored in the universe.”

John is currently in private practice in Olympia, Wash., where he works with individuals and couples. He hopes to soon finish his certification as a Hakomi (mindfulness-centered somatic psychotherapy) therapist and to provide additional workshops and trainings. His long-term goal is “to be either running, or working with, a small retreat center that incorporates multiple healing modalities (like Hakomi) for couples.”

“I hope to continue to find ways to be of service to our veterans and their families…with integrity, authenticity, and compassion…to help them regain the fullness of their lives.” 

Give an Hour is so grateful to our talented provider network that, like John, supports and carries on our mission: to provide free and confidential services to the military community.

Keep Calm and Carry On
Keep Calm and Carry On
A Provider Who Gives Back
A Provider Who Gives Back

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