There is no graver decision made by our elected leaders than to go to war. Thus as a citizen of a democracy, I believe that we make a contract with our fellow citizens who serve in the military. They uphold a solemn oath to protect our freedoms. In exchange for their service, we should support them in time of return to reclaim their civilian lives. Give An Hour has a proven track record of providing mental healthcare to our returning veterans. These important skills help with the most common costs to our military from our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: brain injuries due to post traumatic stress. In addition, the veterans provide the nation with a model to manage our number one healthcare problem: brain disease in its many forms, especially substance abuse disorders and suicide. Science, technology and healthcare provide real remedies and treatment for these problems. We must push forward to improve the data. One in five Americans are afflicted; yet only ten percent of these individuals seek and get the care which will improve their health and address their problems. As well current data shows that our returning veterans are waiting in excess of 100 days for their first appointment for care from the VA. Also half of the returning veterans are using private health insurance for their medical needs. Give An Hour is doing its utmost best to fill that gap by providing mental healthcare services pro bono to our returning veterans.
The support and help is fantastic. It gives extra resources for veterans and their families, when they otherwise would have to struggle.
Review from Guidestar
Our non-profit organization, Veterans On the Rise, Inc., a local 501(c) 3 serving homeless veterans and veteran families, was selected as the host location for the Give An Hour Celebration of Service. Our leadership worked collaboratively with GIve An Hour leadership, and leadership from CIty Year Care Force to identify over 100 volunteers who came to Veterans On the Rise, Inc to perform beautifying activities. Over 60 of the volunteers came from Give An Hour. It was clear that the volunteers who participated in the event were committed to providing valuable services to veterans in need. Give An Hour services are a much needed component of bridging the mental health care gap for many veterans and veterans families. We created murals, added mulch to common area, and invited a strong since of community partnership between mental health care professionals, civilians and service members on that day. We are so grateful for the connection our team forged with the Give An Hour organization on that day.
Give An Hour is an exceptional organization which provides free mental health services to soldiers once they have returned home. The organization's Founder and President, Barbara Van Dahlen is an amazing person who is able to bring people together to support returning soldiers and military families. We are working with Give An Hour to launch a television program to create awareness for community organizations and in almost every meeting or call, Barbara is a source of inspiration for people and she wows anyone who comes into contact with her. It is not unusual when leaving a meeting to have someone openly approach Barbara afterwards, telling her how she has inspired them or is amazed by the work she is doing. In addition to caring for those who serve in the Armed Forces, Barbara manages to raise a family and understand the important balance of family in life. Her outstanding work and dedication to supporting our troops puts Barbara in a league of her own.
Virtually all the national mental health professional associations are partners with Give An Hour, and that is the case as well with the American Psychological Association, the nation's largest association of psychologists, with 150,000 members and affiliates. APA collaborates with Give An Hour as a supporting partner because we share in GAH's commitment to military personnel, veterans and their families who may require mental health services as a consequence of serving our country at war. As a result of this partnership, APA disseminates information about GAH and its mission to our members who wish to volunteer their services and to the public at large, and we are honored to assist with the outstanding work of GAH.
Give an Hour leverages skills based volunteers (mental health care professionals) to give their time using their skills and talents to provide mental health services to service members and their families who are affected by the current conflicts.
I am a Licensed Counselor and the mother of an Iraq veteran who had significant issues "coming home". At that time, GAH had not been created and with limited options, I paid a great deal to get the care my son needed. As a result of our own journey, we created Veterans' Families United as a user friendly and compassionate resource to help veterans and families navigate the system and to empower them with choices. GAH has been at the top of my list for referrals since that time. Consistently, they extend timely and much needed resources for vets and families, many of whom are in remote areas and/or have few options for support. In my opinion, they are one of the most pure in their intentions of serving those who have served our country and they embody the essence of community.
I am a Bereavement Coordinator for a nonprofit that works to support military families who have lost loved ones while serving on active duty. I regularly use Give-an-Hour to find counselors for families who otherwise would not qualify or not be able to afford counseling. This resource is absolutely VITAL to the reintegration and resilience of America's Families of the Fallen. The program is well-run and reliable, and I can always trust that the families I refer to Give-an-Hour counselors will be well cared for.
Review from Guidestar
Give An Hour is a critical resource for members of the military, veterans and their loved ones. We know that those who experience combat return home facing significant challenges including mental health issues and there are simply not enough mental health providers to care for them. Give An Hour is a professional organization that has recruited a large base of mental health providers, including professional social workers, to provide competent care to service men and women, and their loved ones, during their time of need. The organization has developed a simple, straightforward method of caring for these individuals. Those interested in receiving counseling, simply sign up at giveanhour.org. They can choose from a list of providers in their area. It is easy and confidential. This organization has become the “go-to” service for those who may not want to seek care elsewhere. It has also become an important resource for social workers who want to give back to a population that has risked everything to protect our country.
Review from Guidestar