Give an Hour, founded in 2005, has created a network of volunteer mental health professionals pledging an hour a week of their services, free of charge, to members of the military—including active duty, reserve, and guard—veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq, their families, and their communities. Give an Hour offers an important option for the men, women and families who serve our country by providing services in the community at no cost to those in need. And, there is no limit to the number of sessions one can receive; help is available for as long as it is needed.
Give an Hour’s current focus is on supplementing the mental health services provided by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs and includes specific initiatives to reach rural veterans (telehealth) and the Army National Guard. Other programs include community Collaboratives, Got Your 6 Student Education Initiative (“Training the Next Generation of Mental Health Professionals”), Wins for Warriors, and Wounded Warrior Project.
Give an Hour’s services expand beyond those groups who are typically eligible to receive mental health benefits, including parents, siblings, and unmarried partners who are often affected by a loved one’s wartime service.
Give an Hour’s mental health professionals provide services including one-on-one counseling, consultation with other organizations about the mental health issues affecting those who serve, presentations at community gatherings and reintegration events, and trainings in local communities. Providers choose how they “give their hour” in a way that fits their passion. We ask our providers to participate in our network for one year in order to provide continuity of care for these deserving families.
The approximately 7,000 licensed mental health professionals working with Give an Hour have contributed nearly 140,000 hours in support of our troops and their families, and the demand continues as we drawdown from current conflicts.
Volunteer mental health providers include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, pastoral counselors, and other mental health professionals. Additional opportunities are available for students in mental health programs.
While no additional training is required, Give an Hour also offers a variety of free training opportunities and gives providers the opportunity to interact with one another, to share information about their experience, and to seek feedback and additional resources.
Immediate Help Needed in Washington
There is a shortage of mental health professionals available to provide critical services in Washington. We are asking all mental health professionals to join in this effort. If you are currently licensed, please visit our website www.giveanhour.org to sign up for our national network and to learn more about our organization and initiatives.