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.
Mar 23, 2017

Give an Hour to Change Direction

Know the Five Signs.
Know the Five Signs.

It’s time to change the culture of mental health in America. It’s time to remove barriers so that we can talk openly about our emotional well-being – as well as our emotional pain. By changing our culture, we will change minds, attitudes, and behaviors. By changing our culture, we will increase access to care, decrease suffering, and increase productivity worldwide.

Did you know that one in five active-duty service members experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress, depression, or other mental health challenges?

"Suicide — not combat — is the leading killer of U.S. troops deployed to the Middle East to fight Islamic State militants,” according to newly released Pentagon statistics.

Did you know nearly one in every five people, both civilian and military, 42.5 million adult Americans, has a diagnosable mental health condition?

All of us have mental health - just as we all have physical health. Sometimes we feel well emotionally, but sometimes we struggle, sometimes we suffer. Emotional pain is part of the human condition – sometimes we are able to heal with the love and support of those close to us…sometimes we need more.

Did you know, when it comes to mental illness, adolescents and teens are particularly vulnerable and half of all lifetime cases of mental disorders begin by age 14?

Many students might be reticent to speak up if they are having problems and worry that others might judge them. Many members of our military and veterans are reluctant to speak up because they are worried about the shame associated with asking for help.

According to the CDC, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among adolescents ages 12 - 17 and the 3rd for youth 10 - 24 years old.

Throughout my struggle with depression, I found my personality changed and I was not being my happy-go-lucky self.  I was no longer able to see the glass half full.  I also felt myself forcing conversations with friends where words once used to flow effortlessly.  Those same friends helped pick me up out of that dark place to get me back to myself.  I continue to seek support from loved ones and now offer up my ears to listen.”

Give an Hour can help – by providing those in need with the help they deserve and by removing barriers to care. 

Give an Hour is a national non-profit organization focused on providing free mental health care to the military, veterans, and their loved ones – and beginning in 2017 we are expanding to other populations in need. In March of 2015, Give an Hour, launched the Campaign to Change Direction to change the culture of mental health in America. 

Give an Hour’s Campaign to Change Direction has created a common language that allows us to recognize the Five Signs of emotional suffering -- change in personality, withdrawal, agitation, poor self-care, and hopelessness --in ourselves and others. The Campaign encourages everyone to care for our mental well-being and the mental well-being of those we love.

In addition to direct counseling, Give an Hour’s network of volunteer professionals are working to reduce the barriers that prevent people from getting proper care  by participating in and leading education, training, and outreach efforts in schools, communities, and military bases.  

Several cities, communities and states are now inspiring citizens through this public health effort, including LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Summit County, Ohio, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Nashville, Tennessee and the entire state of New Hampshire. We are also receiving commitments from  corporate pledge partners: LHI, Aetna, Booz Allen Hamilton, and more.  

Getting help isn’t always easy.

Through the Campaign to Change Direction, Give an Hour is working to encourage everyone to pay attention to their emotional well-being and share what works so that we can all stay emotionally healthy!

Please support us in our effort to #ChangeMentalHealth at: www.changedirection.org.

Students Know the Five Signs. Do You?
Students Know the Five Signs. Do You?
A Community Learning the Five Signs
A Community Learning the Five Signs
Military Families Know the Five Signs.
Military Families Know the Five Signs.

Links:

Dec 27, 2016

Support Those Who Serve and their Families

Thank you to our Global Giving donors.
Thank you to our Global Giving donors.

A Year-End Message from Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D.

Founder and President of Give an Hour

For many of us, the holidays are a time of tradition – a time of thanks as we take a moment to appreciate the blessings of family, friends, home, and work. When my two daughters were little girls, I took them to visit our local fire station each holiday season. One would carry the bag of toys we brought with us to donate to our local Toys for Tots campaign while the other carried a plate of cookies for the firemen. My daughters loved this tradition - because it allowed them to give to those in need and it allowed us to share our blessings with those who serve our community.

For those who serve, however, the holidays can be a challenging time. Some servicemen and servicewomen are returning and reconnecting to family and friends after a long absence. Others are dealing with the understandable consequences of their experience in combat. And still others are currently deployed and experiencing the holidays far away from loved ones.

Military service affects all those who serve and their families. Fortunately, the majority of those who serve gain new skills and strengths – and they transition to the civilian world with a renewed sense of purpose. 

But some of the thousands who separate from service each year will struggle with the invisible wounds of war such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and depression. And sadly, 20 veterans a day choose suicide – many of these are men and women who served decades ago but are clearly still suffering the consequences of injuries that were unseen and untreated.

During this season of giving, it is our honor to show our appreciation – and provide support - to those who serve, their families and our veterans. It is up to us to take steps to ensure they receive the support they need to lead healthy, productive lives.

To Give an Hour this means providing free mental health services, during the holiday season and for as long as needed. It means working with partner organizations around the country to connect those in need to a full range of additional support services. It also means changing the culture of mental health for all Americans through our collective impact effort, the Campaign to Change Direction so that all in need are comfortable seeking care. 

For over 11 years, Give an Hour has provided confidential, free, and unlimited mental health services through our volunteer network of nearly 7,000 licensed professionals. Our generous providers have contributed over $21M in free mental health care.

As we close out 2016, we want to thank our Global Giving Donors for supporting our nation's military and veteran communities by making donations to Give an Hour this past year. It costs Give an Hour only $16 to provide one hour of care – compared to the national average of $100 per hour. A gift of $64 covers the cost of a Give an Hour provider offering four weekly visits for one month. And a gift of $384 will provide six months of weekly visits for a member of the military or a loved one to see a Give an Hour provider. For only $832 you can give the gift of one year of mental health care to someone in need. 

I ask you that you to continue to give generously throughout the year and please consider making an end-of-year gift to help support those who serve and their families. If you are able, you might also consider a year-round monthly gift to help increase Give an Hour's ability to provide the services our military and veteran communities need.

As you gather with family and friends to celebrate this holiday season, I hope that your traditions bring you comfort and joy. And may 2017 be a Happy, Healthy, and Peaceful year for you and those you love.

Thank you and Happy Holidays,

Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D.

Founder and President

Give an Hour provides free mental health services.
Give an Hour provides free mental health services.
The holidays can be a challenging time.
The holidays can be a challenging time.

Links:

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:

 
   

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