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Give an Hour's Volunteer Mental Health Professionals Provide More than $1.2 Million in Services to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, Families, and Communities
Date:2/17/2009

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Give an Hour, a national nonprofit organization providing free mental health services to troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and their loved ones, announces results of its February survey.

Give an Hour periodically surveys its volunteer providers to gauge its impact and effectiveness and to determine how programs and services can be adapted to best meet the needs of this population.

The February 2009 survey found:

  • 12,421 total hours have been donated in mental health services, not including volunteer hours spent on operations
  • 4,325 hours were given in direct, face-to-face counseling
  • 679 hours were given in phone counseling
  • 7,417 hours were given in education and outreach

At the nationwide average of $100 per hour for mental health services, Give an Hour providers have donated $1,242,100 since Give an Hour began providing these critical services in July 2007.

"We are very grateful to our generous providers," says Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen Romberg, founder and president of Give an Hour. "While we know how critical our work is to those who serve our country, these numbers help to illustrate the impact we are having. Our survey also revealed that we have many providers who have not yet been contacted by someone in need of assistance. We are working to engage these providers in other ways -- to help educate communities and to promote our services, for example. We still have a great deal of work to do to reduce the stigma attached to mental health care and to normalize the experience of those who experience combat. We are, however, very hopeful that as we educate the public about these issues, more and more returning warriors and family members will feel comfortable coming forward and getting the help they deserve," Dr. Romberg adds.

Give an Hour has more than 3,600 licensed mental health professionals on its network, in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Give an Hour aims to recruit 40,000, or 10 percent, of the nation's 400,000 mental health professionals to this cause.

Give an Hour providers offer assistance to individuals, couples, children, and families. In addition to direct counseling, volunteers give presentations, provide consultation, teach skills, offer support, and demystify mental health care for those who serve as well as for those who seek to support our troops. Give an Hour has excellent relationships with the VA, the DoD, and several Veterans Service Organizations. Give an Hour also has the support of the major mental health associations in the United States, including the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.

Mental health professionals interested in joining Give an Hour can complete an easy online form at www.giveanhour.org. Visitors in need of services can log on and use the zip code finder to locate a provider who meets their needs. If there is no provider in their area, Give an Hour will locate one.

Give an Hour (www.giveanhour.org) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), founded in September 2005 by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen Romberg, a psychologist in the Washington, D.C., area. The organization's mission is to develop national networks of volunteers capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society. Currently, GAH is dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of the troops and families affected by the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Give an Hour currently has providers across the nation -- in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico -- and continues to recruit volunteer mental health professionals to its network.


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SOURCE Give an Hour
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