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Aetna BH to provide free counseling to military community

May 13, 2011
by News release
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Hartforn, Conn. — Aetna Behavioral Health has announced its support for Give an Hour, a non-profit organization providing free counseling and other mental health services to members of the military. Aetna Behavioral Health will actively recruit volunteers from its network of over 104,000 behavioral health providers across the United States, helping Give an Hour increase the number of practitioners providing free counseling to the military community.

Aetna’s own employees who are clinicians in Aetna Behavioral Health or the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) also will volunteer their time.

“U.S. military veterans are returning home finding that they must cope with a wide range of psychological difficulties and post-combat stresses,” said Louise Murphy, head of Aetna Behavioral Health.

“In fact, a Rand Corporation study reports that 300,000 U.S. troops are suffering from major depression or post-traumatic stress. Aetna wants to be able to help these veterans and their families get access to the mental health care they need. One way we can help our service people is through our support for Give an Hour.”

Give an Hour provides free counseling and other mental health services to active duty service members, members of the National Guard and Reserve forces and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who have separated or retired from any branch of military service.

The organization also provides services to military family members. Give an Hour offers treatment for anxiety, depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries and other issues relating to military service.

“Joining Forces is a national initiative recently launched by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden that encourages all sectors of our society to give service members and their families the opportunities and support they need and deserve as they come home to our communities,” said Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour.

“There are many ways that Give an Hour is helping to advance this initiative and we are so pleased to have Aetna’s support to expand our network of volunteers and provide training opportunities for these professionals. This assistance is vital to our mission of reducing the stigma associated with seeking mental health care.”

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