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In a special new partnership, Veterans Advantage announced it’s support of Give an Hour, a 501c3 organization that is establishing a national network of mental health professionals reaching out to U.S. troops and families affected by the military conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Mental health professionals give an hour of their time each week to provide free mental health services to military personnel and their families.
Veterans Advantage is providing marketing services to help promote the availability of these services to our members nationwide and to help recruit mental health professionals to join the network. Additionally, to lend financial support, Veterans Advantage will be donating a portion of it’s own membership profits to Give an Hour to help defray administrative expenses.
"With specialized treatment for post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), Give an Hour is a unique healthcare model that taps into the professional therapist community. They are delivering important therapeutic services to our servicemen and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families. We are pleased to contribute to their work," said Scott Higgins, founder and CEO of Veterans Advantage in a joint announcement with Give an Hour.
"As a health professional and the daughter of one who served our country in World War II, I know the importance of giving our troops the respect and sense of safety they deserve after their tour of duty," said Dr. Barbara Romberg, founder and president of Give an Hour." What our troops are experiencing is exactly what we would expect given the circumstances they’re in. By educating ourselves and the public about the psychological consequences of war, we can diminish the stigma and better serve those who need and deserve our assistance," added Romberg.
With 1.6 million troops deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq to date, there are studies that estimate that a significant percentage of the troops, as high as 30%, require treatment for mental health related issues. Give an Hour is building a national network of volunteers to respond. Health professionals are donating a free hour of their services per week for a minimum of one year, an average $100 per hour value, to provide support to those returning from war and to help them find the right path back into civilian life.
Families can also participate and receive help. "We agree with Veterans Advantage’s core belief that when one person serves, the whole family also serves," added Romberg. We are also offering services to parents, siblings, and unmarried partners who are not entitled to receive mental health benefits through the military. Although these individuals may have access to mental health services through other means, they are less likely to seek the help they need and deserve if that help is difficult to find or costly."
The participating mental health professionals will offer a wide range of services including individual, marital, and family therapy; substance abuse counseling; treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder; and counseling for individuals with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Whether it is a young military wife who is anxious for her four-year-old who has had nightmares since her husband’s deployment or a father struggling to cope with his son’s TBI, the goal is to deliver the assistance they need to deal with and move through their experience.
"We have an obligation to act and the sooner we act, the better--the costs to our economy, families, and the U.S. military are extraordinary," Higgins added. "The healthier the support system for the returning troops, the lower the risk of severe or prolonged dysfunction within these military families."
Veterans Advantage honors Give an Hour™ participants who are also Veterans themselves, and helping those who serve and their families. Click here to read more about these heroic Americans in an exclusive interview with Veterans Advantage.
Give an Hour™ received key bipartisan Senate support from Senators John Kerry (MA) and Chuck Hagel (NE). Click here for a "Dear Colleague" letter from their offices.
Give an Hour™, providing free mental health services to military personnel and their loved ones, at www.giveanhour.org.
Give an Hour™ is a strategic partner of Veterans Advantage. Learn more about our partnership with Give an Hour™.
Veterans Advantage is also hosting a special online PTS Transition Center for its members, with customized news and resources to help in this vital area.
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