Give an Hour, a national nonprofit organization providing free mental health services to members of the military, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, their loved ones, and their communities has announce that that its network of licensed mental health professionals has given more than 46,000 hours of free services.
At the nationwide average of $100 per hour for mental health services, Give an Hour providers have given $4.6 million since Give an Hour began providing these critical services in July 2007. Give an Hour periodically surveys its providers to obtain this data.
This latest figure represents a 37% increase in hours donated over the same period last year and a 9% increase, or an additional 3,000 hours, over the most recent quarterly survey, in August 2011. Give an Hour’s provider network has increased by 18% over this time last year to more than 6,000 mental health professionals.
“Our civilian mental health professionals have a critical role to play in assisting our returning troops, our veterans, and their families with the understandable psychological and emotional consequences of a decade of war. Fortunately, we have the resources and, therefore, the ability to save many who might otherwise suffer – if we work together and coordinate our efforts,” says Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour.
“It is my belief that as more of our mental health colleagues understand the need, more will answer the call to join our network. It is also my belief that the work we are doing to educate families and communities – and thereby reduce stigma – will result in even more of our providers serving military families through Give an Hour.”
Give an Hour providers are psychiatrists, substance abuse counselors, psychologists, pastoral counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychiatric nurses, and licensed professional counselors. Thousands of volunteer mental health professionals are available–in all 50 states.
They are volunteering free counseling 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. Give an Hour is also offering free services to parents, siblings, unmarried partners, grandparents–in short anyone who loves someone affected by the current conflicts.
By providing services that are separate from the military establishment, Give an Hour offers an essential option for men and women who might otherwise fail to seek or receive appropriate services. There is no paperwork; no insurance claims need to be filed, and no money changes hands. Give an Hour’s services are absolutely free and there is no limit to the number of sessions one can receive.