By Debbie Gregory.
With more and more Veterans experiencing difficulties with their mental health, agencies like the VA are finding it increasingly difficult to evaluate, diagnose and treat every Veteran. As a result, many Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan return home and suffer in silence with mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Without diagnosis and treatment, most Veterans don’t know that there is something clinically wrong with them. Believing that their symptoms are solely a sign of personal weakness, many Veterans fall through the cracks and turn to drugs, alcohol and even suicide to escape their pain.
Give an Hour is a national nonprofit organization that is intent on preventing Veterans from falling through the cracks. They have come up with an ingenious system that provides mental health services to members of the military, Veterans, and their loved ones, at no cost.
Give an Hour employs a volunteer staff of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, therapists, and various types of licensed and professional counselors. These mental healthcare specialists donate their time to Give an Hour by registering on their website, also indicating what services they can provide and agreeing to the terms and conditions. Once registered, the mental healthcare specialist is referred to as a provider.
Give an Hour reviews and approves all providers before activating their account.
Veterans and service members who use the site are called visitors. Visitors access the site and look up providers. Visitors can search providers by their postal code, distance they want to travel, language spoken and area of practice. Then the visitor can make an appointment directly with the provider.
After their treatment, the visitor logs back in to their Give an Hour account and provides the site with feedback about their care. The visitor can then search the Give an Hour site to locate a charity in his/her community to donate an hour of their time to. Communities list projects that need volunteers and provide contact information.
MilitaryConnection.com has worked with Give an Hour for a number of years. We applaud Give an Hour for all they do to help Veterans who suffer from mental health concerns.