Give an Hour is dedicated to helping ameliorate the mental health crisis created by the repeated deployments of military service members to Iraq and Afghanistan. Our volunteer providers donate free, easily accessible confidential counseling to military members and their loved ones. We can respond quickly to many who do not have access to military or VA facilities and to give help to those who seek confidential care separate from the military environment but we need more funding for outreach.
Since September 2001 over 2.2 million military service members have deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq, many more than once and some as many as 5 or 6 times. Symptoms of severe mental health difficulties, including PTSD and TBI, are as high as 35% among these veterans, yet only about half have sought treatment. Family members suffer from loved ones' deployments too. The military is trying to address these issues but does not have enough resources and also cannot reach everyone in need of help.
Give an Hour enlists volunteer mental health professionals to donate 1 hour per week to provide free, easily accessible, confidential counseling to military personnel and their loved ones. Studies show that timely attention and counseling can make a huge difference in the success of treating mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress. GAH has volunteers enlisted across the U.S., available to many who are not near a VA or military base or who can't/don't want to use VA services.
Delivering free counseling to our country's troops and loved ones can potentially help over 3 million Americans, since for each military member deployed, 8 -10 family members are directly affected. Of those deployed, 40%-nearly 800,000-are parents with 1 or more children; almost 35,000 troops have been separated from their children for 4 or more deployments. Many will suffer, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress and depression will cost as much as $6.2 billion in the 2 years after a deployment.
This project has provided additional documentation in a XLSX file (projdoc.xlsx).
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