May 10, 2018

May is Military Appreciation Month

May Is National Military Appreciation Month
May Is National Military Appreciation Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is a very active month for Give an Hour – a national non-profit that provides free and confidential mental health care to those who serve, our veterans and their families.

Since 2005, Give an Hour’s mission is to develop national networks of volunteer professionals capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society. Give an Hour has provided free and confidential mental health care to those who serve, our veterans, and their families – providing over 250,000 hours of free care valued at nearly $25M.

Through the generosity, compassion, and expertise of Give an Hour’s skilled volunteers, we are able to increase the likelihood that those in need receive the support and care they deserve. Our organization mobilizes a national network of mental health professionals who pledge to “give an hour” of their time each week to support these individuals.

“Once again, thank you so much for the work you and the organization do by providing mental health services and education for our military and Veteran community. We at Memorial VFW Post 3238 are grateful to Give an Hour and the Campaign to Change Direction for making a difference in the lives of many from our community who are struggling with mental health related concerns.”
VFW Post Commander

Mental health is not a veteran issue. One in five Americans has a mental health condition; and in 2011, more people died by suicide in the United States (39,518) than in motor vehicle crashes (32,367). We can all play a critical role in changing the culture of mental health so that all in need receive the care they deserve.

Give an Hour is also providing free care to at-risk teens, survivors of gun violence and victims of natural and man-made disasters.

In addition to direct counseling, Give an Hour's network of volunteer professionals are working to remove the barriers to mental health care by participating in and leading education, training, and outreach efforts in schools, communities, and on military bases. Give an Hour also consults to communities, government agencies and other non-profit organizations on the coordination of services and on the Change Direction public health initiative.

The Campaign to Change Direction seeks to remove the barriers to seeking mental health care with the goal to encourage all of us, both in the military community and outside populations, to pay attention to our emotional well-being and to get the help we deserve when needed.

“How many times have you heard someone say, ‘there had to be warning signs’, ‘who missed them because you know there were warning signs,’ etc. Well this @campaigntochangedirection is a much-needed tool in being part of the solution to educate your sphere of influence on how to #changementalhealth by getting to #KnowTheFiveSigns!”
Facebook Follower

GAH's Campaign to Change Direction has created a common language that allows us to recognize the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering in ourselves and others and encourages us to care for our mental well-being and the mental well- being of others.

As we honor, celebrate and appreciate our military this month, please consider a donation so that we can continue to provide free and confidential mental health services to them and those outside this population.

Looking for a Mother's Day gift? Give a gift that gives twice.  Make a donation to us and send Mom a giftcard.

Thank you for your continued support.

Free Mental Health Services Also for Military Kids
Free Mental Health Services Also for Military Kids
Mental Health is not only a  Military Issue
Mental Health is not only a Military Issue


Feb 9, 2018

It's Time to Pay Attention!

Know the Five Signs
Know the Five Signs


“There’s an issue in our country about mental health in general.  It’s not just in the military. But we as a nation don’t do very well in responding to mental health needs within ourselves and our families.  We need options.”  

- Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president, Give an Hour

  • 1 in 5 Americans has a diagnosable mental health disorder - but only 40% receive the help they need.
  • More Americans are expected to die this year by suicide than in car accidents.
  • According to the World Economic Forum, mental illness will account for more than half of the economic burden of disease over the next two decades – more than cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases combined.

 “Give an Hour is harnessing an entire profession that has the skills needed to respond.  We are reaching those who are serving and those who are struggling and make it easy for them to prevent a whole generation of suffering.”  

Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president, Give an Hour

The majority of our active military and veterans return to our civilian world with new skills and a sense of purpose for their lives. Unfortunately, thousands returning home struggle with wounds we can’t see: anxiety; depression; post-traumatic stress; and traumatic brain injury. Though their service and injuries may have occurred decades ago, our veterans still suffer.

Each day, 20 veterans end their lives by suicide. Almost 40,000 veterans are homeless, with more than 13,000 unsheltered or living on the streets, and more than 181,000 are behind bars, most often resulting from their hidden wounds and emotional suffering. 

Since 2005 Give an Hour has harnessed the expertise of volunteer mental health professionals. Our network of 7000 mental health professionals have given over 250,000 hours of care, valued at $25,000,000. 

 “Here is what we know for certain: mental health is not a military issue, a guard issue, a veteran issue; it’s a human issue.”  -  Dr. Jill Biden 

Since 2015, we’ve been working to change the culture of mental health in America and around the world through the Campaign to Change Direction, so that all of those in need receive the care and support they deserve. The Change Direction initiative is a collection of concerned citizens, nonprofit and private sector leaders,  who have come together to change the culture about mental health, mental illness, and emotional well-being.

The Campaign encourages all Americans to pay attention to their emotional well-being. It reminds us that our emotional well-being is just as important as our physical well-being. It encourages us to practice healthy habits for our emotional health just as we practice healthy habits to keep ourselves physically fit. 

As a society, we don’t openly acknowledge, discuss or address our mental well-being – nor do we value our mental health the way we do our physical health. 

If you recognize that someone in your life is suffering, now what?

You connect, you reach out, you inspire hope and you offer help. 

By harnessing the skills and generosity of citizens across our nation and around the world, Give an Hour provides those in need with help and hope.

Please support us. Thank you.

Healthy Families Know the Five Signs
Healthy Families Know the Five Signs
Your Emotional Well-being is Important too!
Your Emotional Well-being is Important too!


Dec 11, 2017

Give the Gift of Emotional Well-Being - Help us Change the Culture of Mental Health

Give a Gift of Emotional Well-Being
Give a Gift of Emotional Well-Being

For over 12 years our national network of mental health professionals have provided free mental health services to our service members, our veterans and their families.  Our providers are the heart and soul of Give an Hour and through their generosity and hard work we have provided more than 244,000 hours of free mental health services valued at $24 million since Give an Hour began providing care to those in need.  We are extremely grateful for the generosity, commitment and dedication of our Give an Hour providers.  Their gifts of time, skill and compassion help to heal families and save lives.

Our work would not be possible without the very generous support of our Global Giving donors who help us support those in need.  From our beginning in 2005, Give an Hour has been a “big tent” organization –inviting all who have something to give to join us in this critical effort.  We are proud of our collective impact approach and grateful to all who have stepped forward over the years to help us.

This has been an exciting and busy year for Give an Hour.  While we continue to provide thousands of hours of free care to our military and veteran communities, we have seen the expansion of our model to address the mental health needs of other groups who are suffering.  We have also seen the establishment of our first regional office, Give an Hour California.  In addition, as we have done in the past, we opened our network to respond to the devastating natural disasters and man-made traumas that affected our nation this past fall including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria; the horrific shootings in Las Vegas and the wildfires in California. 

Through our Campaign to Change Direction initiative, we hosted the first Global Summit on Mental Health Culture Change this past May in Los Angeles.  We brought together mental health associations, nonprofits, thought leaders and government officials from five countries to discuss approaches to removing cultural barriers that prevent those in need from seeking and receiving appropriate care.  

We unveiled the Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-being, the second element in the Campaign to Change Direction initiative, our public health effort that encourages everyone to pay attention to their emotional well-being as we work to change the culture of mental health in the United States and around the world. 

We are proud of our partnership with the VA and the Air National Guard.  They have embraced the Change Direction campaign. The VA requested 625K Change Direction wallet cards.  The Air National Guard is distributing 90K wallet cards. 

Our work will continue in 2018. Indeed, the office of the UK Minister of Defence People and Veterans has asked to use the Five Signs wallet cards for distribution to active duty service members across the UK and we have been invited to the Georgia Embassy to meet with government officials there to implement the program for the military and civilian communities across their country. 

One in four people around the world have a diagnosable mental health condition – but the majority of those who are in emotional pain do not seek or receive care. Many of those who experience mental health challenges aren’t even aware that there are effective treatments for the conditions that cause them to suffer. The impact of this growing crisis is alarming.  

Changing the culture is required but it will not be easy. We need your support. 

The holiday season is upon us. Please consider giving a gift of emotional well-being to help us change the culture of mental health. 

Thank you.

2017 Agents of Change Award to Booz Allen
2017 Agents of Change Award to Booz Allen
2017 Service Project with VFW - Know the 5 Signs!
2017 Service Project with VFW - Know the 5 Signs!
Give an Hour is proud of our 4 Star Charity Rating
Give an Hour is proud of our 4 Star Charity Rating


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