Give an Hour relies on its volunteer mental health professionals to provide free counseling to military service members, veterans and their families. Since its founding in 2005, GAH has recruited licensed mental health professionals and now has more than 6700 enrolled. Our goal is to have one tenth of the 400,000 licensed mental health professionals in the United States as volunteers.
Looking to the future, GAH knows that the next generation of mental health professionals, now studying in universities around the country, need to be educated about issues that military family members often face. GAH has made a commitment to educate 100,000 students by June 2014.
To officially launch its commitment, Give an Hour is planning "A Celebration of Service," a two-day event, June 2–3, 2013, in New York City, that will bring together colleagues from the military, government, corporate, educational, and nonprofit worlds to focus on service and train the next generation of mental health professionals while encouraging voluntarism, engaging communities, and creating awareness of the need for critical mental health services. One of the main ways that GAH will reach and interact with students will be a website designed specifically for this project (http://connected.giveanhour.org/got-your-6.shtml). The website is now live and houses a wealth of educational materials on the mental health issues specific to the military and on military culture. Issues such as PTSD, military sexual trauma, suicide, and TBI, as well as deployment, reintegration, family life, and military children, are explored. Students, whether in undergraduate or graduate programs, have easy access to numerous research studies, reports, books, films, sites, video clips, and other interactive material. Information is also available for current mental health professionals and for university administrators of programs that address military and veteran needs. We invite you to visit the website and encourage students interested in pursuing a career in mental health to make use of its many resources.