Give An Hour and Change Lives
So many of the hundreds of veterans we have helped at Veterans Support Organization over the years have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They described similar symptoms from the effects of wartime service: nightmares, anxiety, isolation, and depression.
In all, tens of thousands of American soldiers have suffered psychological wounds in the military conflicts following Sept. 11, 2001.
I’m glad our government and private organizations are taking notice and offering services to these great men and women.
One such group is called Give An Hour. It’s a national network of 6,300 licensed mental health professionals who have pledged to give an hour of their time each week to support troops, veterans, and others affected by the stress of military conflict.
Since 2005, these volunteers have donated close to 57,000 hours of counseling to help veterans and their loved ones recover from PTSD and other psychological disorders.
Give An Hour’s founder and psychologist, Barbara Van Dahlen, recently explained the initiative in a Huffington Post article: “A core part of this work involves helping veterans and their family members understand that they are not alone, that what they are experiencing is an understandable reaction to the brutality of war, that the issues they are grappling with are real, and that seemingly insurmountable problems can be overcome.”
At Veterans Support Organization, we also believe that needy veterans can overcome their biggest challenges. That’s why we give veterans jobs and housing so they can provide for themselves and feel good about their accomplishments. With their finances and living situation stabilized, they can return to civilian life as productive citizens.
I applaud Give An Hour and certainly encourage any licensed mental health professional who is willing to donate an hour a week to support veterans and their loved ones to register for this initiative. Go to the group’s website and follow the links to register.
Richard VanHouten is the founder and CEO of Veterans Support Organization.