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Non-Profit Calls on Mental Health Professionals to Honor Veterans Day by 'Giving an Hour' of Free Counseling to Returning Veterans
Date:11/9/2007

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Give an Hour, a non-partisan, non-profit organization offering free mental health services to returning Veterans and their loved ones, announces there are 750 providers nationwide on its network.

Give an Hour hopes to recruit to its network 10 percent, or 40,000 people, of the approximately 400,000 licensed mental health professionals in the United States. With an average fee of $100 an hour, this would save the military and the taxpayer $4 million per week in mental health services costs.

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 more than 750 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," Dr. Romberg said.

Research indicates that a major barrier preventing military personnel from seeking appropriate treatment is the stigma associated with treatment. Many fear seeking mental health treatment will jeopardize their career or standing. Give an Hour's services are endorsed by many veteran 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 give an hour of volunteer time back to their own community," Dr. Romberg said.

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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