Providing Free Mental Health Support for Crisis
Free Mental Health Services Expanded for Refugees
Mobilizing the Give an Hour network to offer care and support in U.S. Border Humanitarian Crisis
Founded in 2005 by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, a licensed clinical psychologist, Give an Hour (GAH) is a national nonprofit organization providing free and confidential mental health services to populations in need. GAH began by focusing on military members, veterans, their families, National Guard and Reserve service members and their communities. Recognizing that more had to be done to meet the mental health needs of our returning troops and their families affected by the post-9/11 conflicts, Dr. Van Dahlen reached out to colleagues asking them to donate their time to those experiencing emotional suffering.
By providing unlimited; confidential; and free services outside the military community, GAH has provided services to those in need through a volunteer network of nearly 7,000 licensed mental health professionals who have donated more than 250,000 hours of care, worth more than $25 million.
In addition to providing services to our military and veteran communities, GAH is now expanding its model to provide free mental health care to other populations in need, including survivors of gun violence, at-risk youth and survivors of natural and man-made disasters. In addition to providing direct services, GAH providers consult with schools, first responders, employers and community organizations.
GAH is also bringing its model to other countries, including Canada, Georgia and England.
In 2005, Give an Hour launched the Campaign to Change Direction, a public health effort designed to change the culture of mental health so that those who are suffering emotionally are better able to seek and receive care. This campaign encourages all Americans to pay attention to their emotional well-being – and it reminds us that our emotional well-being is just as important as our physical well-being. The cornerstone of the culture change is in raising awareness of the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering.
The Change Direction initiative is a collection of concerned citizens, nonprofit leaders, and leaders from the private sector who have come together to change the culture in America and world-wide about mental health, mental illness, and wellness. This initiative was inspired by the discussion at the White House National Conference on Mental Health in 2013, which came on the heels of the Newtown, Conn. tragedy.
“We have been following the news regarding immigrants and refugees every step of the way, watching families being separated and displaced at and beyond the U.S. border,” said Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, Founder and President of Give an Hour. “Studies show familial separation has both immediate and lasting psychological effects, and our providers are distinctly qualified to assist anyone who needs help in these trying times and during the coming weeks and months.”
To best help the communities supporting those enduring this crisis, Give an Hour is seeking out licensed mental health professionals interested in assisting these displaced children and families; they are especially in need of Spanish-speaking providers located in U.S. border states, but are also aware that children and families have been moved to facilities in many states across the country.
Give an Hour has the capacity to help those who are experiencing grief, loss and anxiety, and wants to do their part. By harnessing the skills and generosity of citizens across our nation and around the world, they can provide those in need with help and hope – offering those who care the opportunity to give. Give an Hour currently has official agreements with several federal agencies making coordination of this kind and magnitude possible. Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are eager for your support through Give an Hour.
We need your help. Time is of the essence and every dollar counts. Your donation will provide critical mental health care to the more than 12,000 immigrant and refugee children – and their families – who are being affected by the humanitarian crisis at the U.S. border. So far, the outpouring of support has been incredible, and we can’t thank each of our donors enough.
We now ask our Global Giving donors to please consider a donation for this lifesaving work. Thank you for your support.
Give an Hour Expands Mental Health Services