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.
The holidays can be a challenging time.