By Debbie Gregory.
Give an Hour (GAH) is a non-profit organization that provides free mental health services to active duty members of the military, Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, and their families. Founded in 2005 by psychologist Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, GAH’s stated mission is to, “develop national networks of volunteers capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society.”
GAH is possible through the generous time donations of licensed mental health care professionals, who literally give an hour of their time each week, providing free services to military personnel and their families. The professionals register with GAH, whose administrators verify them and add them to their provider list. The military or dependent in need of mental health care logs in to GAH as a visitor to the site. The visitor finds a mental health care professional in their area via the site’s list of providers, and makes an appointment. After their free treatment, the visitor provides feedback to the site about their experience, and then selects a community organization with projects in their area and volunteers an equivalent amount of their time there.
Now GAH has made obtaining services even easier with the launch of the new Google service called “Helpouts”. The new site makes it possible for experts, skilled in a multitude of platforms, to offer their services world-wide for free or at cost. Of course, GAH’s services will be free.
Using Helpouts, Veterans who are physically unable to travel to mental health care appointments, due to disabilities or issues of location, will now have easy access to mental health care. Helpouts will remove geographical barriers, allowing Veterans and their families to receive the help they need, wherever they are, 24/7.
Helpouts connects people who need help, assistance, or guidance with those who can meet their needs over live video that individuals can book on-demand or schedule sessions in advance. Helpouts is intended to connect experienced, skilled, passionate people who want to give help to people around the world who need it; it sounds like a perfect coupling with Give an Hour.