Heading Back to School: Give an Hour Student Liaisons Serve as Ambassadors Across the Country
Give an Hour, marking its 10th year anniversary this year, is a national nonprofit organization providing free and confidential mental health services to members of the military, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, their loved ones, and their communities, recently announced that its network of 7,000 licensed mental health professionals has donated 163,283 hours of mental health services.
At the national average cost of $100 per hour for mental health counseling, Give an Hour providers have donated over $16.3 million since 2007. This latest figure represents an increase of 37% (44,000 hours) in total time donated over last year. In the last three months alone, Give an Hour providers donated 7,800 hours of services; 5,000 of these hours were face-to-face counseling.
Valued volunteer contributors, Give an Hour Student Liaisons serve as ambassadors by creating awareness of our mission and services to student and faculty members at colleges and universities nationwide. One of our highly appreciated Student Liaisons is Kailyn B. She writes:
As an Air Force veteran, I feel a strong pull to continue to serve my comrades - past, present, and future. When I heard about Give an Hour, I knew I had to get involved. In the fall, I will begin the 3rd year of my doctoral program in clinical psychology. As I dive deeper into my studies and research of the military community, I am confronted with facts about the great divide between the military community and the civilian community. A recent study by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the RAND Corporation found there was a lack of understanding among community providers about military culture and resources available for veterans, despite the fact that one in six Americans is either a servicemember, veteran, or military dependent. Knowing that veterans have higher rates of mental health issues and are at a higher suicide risk than civilians makes it my passion to work to bridge this divide.
I wanted to get involved with Give an Hour because I believe in its mission - to spread awareness about the psychological needs of the military community and to provide information and professional training to providers and future providers so the military community can get the support it needs. As a student liaison, I have taken this mission to my university by requesting the inclusion of the military community as part of our curriculum and class discussions. I have also arranged for military providers to come speak at our school, providing students insight into what it is like to work with the military community. As the chair for our student government organization, I have advocated for projects to help veterans in the local community.
I plan to continue my work in spreading the word about the services that Give an Hour provides and about the mental health needs of the military community.
I am very grateful for my military training, and I wish to contribute back to the military by supporting the servicemembers, veterans, and their families. Give an Hour has given me the opportunity to do so.
Everyone is affected by the experience of war – those who have served and their loved ones need help dealing with after effects of service. By providing services that are confidential and separate from military resources, Give an Hour offers an essential service for men and women who might otherwise fail to seek or receive appropriate help.
We are grateful to Kailyn and all of our Give an Hour Student Liaisons who make a difference on campuses across the country.
We are thankful to our Global Giving donors who help to make our work possible. Thank you.