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1,000 Mental Health Professionals Join National Network to Provide Free Counseling to Returning Veterans and their Families
Date:3/10/2008

WASHINGTON, March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Give an Hour (http://www.giveanhour.org), a non-partisan, non-profit organization offering free mental health services to returning Veterans and their loved ones, announces that there are now 1,000 providers, nationwide, on its network.

In an effort to supplement the mental health services already provided to the military through the military health care system, Give an Hour's services are available to the service member, their immediate family, and their extended families and loved ones, including parents, siblings and significant others (who are often directly affected but not covered by the military).

"We are thrilled to have already recruited 1,000 licensed mental health professionals on our network," notes Founder and President, Dr. Barbara V. Romberg. "What our Veterans and their families and loved ones are experiencing as a result of deployments, traumatic brain injuries and other devastating physical injuries, PTSD and more, is incomprehensible to the general population. The sheer number of people being affected makes it virtually impossible for the very competent but overtaxed military health care system to provide help to everyone who needs it," says Dr. Romberg.

"We recently partnered with the American Psychiatric Association and know that relationships such as this will help us in our endeavor to recruit more providers who will ultimately help head off what could become a true crisis," adds Dr. Romberg. "We encourage all mental health professionals to ask themselves whether they can afford to give an hour a week of their practice to help our troops and their families who are sacrificing so much."

Research indicates that a major barrier preventing military personnel from seeking appropriate treatment is the perception of stigma associated with treatment. Many fear that seeking mental health treatment will jeopardize their career or standing. Give an Hour's services are endorsed by many veterans service organizations, but separate from the military, offering an essential option for men and women who might otherwise fail to seek or receive appropriate services.

"While our primary focus is to get much needed counseling and other mental health services to the folks that need it, the other unique aspect of our organization is a kind of 'pay-it-forward' idea that the people receiving services will then have the opportunity, though it is not required, to give an hour of volunteer time back to their own community," Dr. Romberg adds.

To obtain services, go to http://www.giveanhour.org, and a zip code finder will locate a provider near you. If there is currently no provider, contact Give an Hour at info@giveanhour.org and a provider will be located. Mental health professionals willing to donate an hour of their time each week for a minimum commitment of one year can also go to http://www.giveanhour.org.


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SOURCE Give an Hour
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