140,000 Hours of Service by Give an Hour Providers
Give an Hour is grateful for the support received from so many donors through GlobalGiving, which continues to make possible our ongoing work providing counseling to active duty service members, veterans, and their loved ones. In addition to donating through Global Giving, another way to support our efforts is to follow Give an Hour on social media and to share our news and messages with your networks. We will continue to update you with reports on Global Giving, too.
We are very pleased to report that as of July 2014, Give an Hour's network has 7,000 licensed mental health professionals, located in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam, who have donated nearly 140,000 total hours of mental health services. Using a nationwide average of $100 per hour for mental health care, Give an Hour providers have donated nearly $14 million in services since GAH began providing care in July 2007. In addition, our Facebook has increased our Likes 129 %.
In addition to direct counseling, Give an Hour providers participate in community programs, provide consultations to employers, first-responders, schools, and other veterans service organizations; teach skills; offer support and demystify mental health care for those who serve and for those who seek to support our country’s troops.
Through face-to-face counseling, phone consultation and telehealth capabilities, GAH is uniquely positioned to be able to best provide mental health services in the underserved and most needy areas: rural areas; regions around military bases where there are low civilian populations; and locations where Reserve and National Guard troops and their families live, which are often far away from military bases and Veterans Administration facilities.
In reflecting about the death of veterans advocate Steve Robinson recently, Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour, recently shared her personal story.
My father also came home with undiagnosed combat stress. We all experience loss and recognize accomplishment through our own unique filters. From my perspective one of Steve's greatest gifts to his generation of veterans -- and those veterans just now returning home from over a decade of war -- was his willingness to talk openly about his own mental health struggles and his steadfast belief that suffering from post-traumatic stress does not mean that you are weak. He knew that you couldn’t always prevent, avoid, or resolve the development of devastating symptoms simply by sucking it up. Not only did he fight for his fellow brothers and sisters in arms, he provided an example for them to follow. He provided an example of how even the toughest can suffer from the wounds of war. And he demonstrated that you could be tough even while you heal. Finally, he made it absolutely clear that it takes grit and strength of character to accept the help that one may need to face the demons that can haunt even the bravest soldier. Much remains to be done to ensure that those who come home from war, those who serve, and their families have the care and support they need and deserve. Like Steve and many others, I am hopeful that we can get there. We are a great and generous nation.
We at Give an Hour remain committed to serving those who serve, and we thank you, our friends at Global Giving, for the support that allows us to do so.
Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president, GAH
Give an Hour Service Project - Washington, DC