Washington, DC (PRWEB) February 07, 2013
Give an Hour™ (http://www.giveanhour.org), a national nonprofit organization providing free mental health services to members of the military, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, their loved ones, and their communities, is serving as the lead “activation partner” for the health pillar of the entertainment industry’s Got Your 6 campaign and unveiling an initiative to raise awareness about the unique concerns of veterans and military families.
“Got your six” is a military expression that means “I’ve got your back, and you’ve got mine.” The six o’clock position or “six” is the designation of the rear of a military formation. The Got Your 6 (http://www.gotyour6.org) campaign strives to bridge the growing civilian-military divide. Led by the entertainment industry and supported by the grass roots work being done by top-tier nonprofits across the country, Got Your 6 connects ordinary Americans with veterans and military families to better enable military veterans to succeed in civilian life. The campaign focuses on six pillars of reintegration: jobs, housing, education, health, family, and leadership. Area-focused activation partners, including Give an Hour, will help civilians identify opportunities to better understand veterans and increase opportunities for veterans to lead here at home.
In coordination with Got Your 6, Give an Hour has made a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative to work with its partners to educate 100,000 students in mental health disciplines on the unique issues of veterans and military families by June of 2014. In addition to providing training, education, and resources, Give an Hour will highlight the great efforts already under way in programs across the country to educate these students.
As part of this effort, Give an Hour is launching a website, http://connected.giveanhour.org/got-your-6.shtml, which will house a wealth of educational materials on the mental health issues specific to the military and on military culture. Issues such as PTS, military sexual trauma, suicide, and TBI, as well as deployment, reintegration, family life, and military children, will be explored. Students, whether in undergraduate or graduate programs, will have easy access to numerous research studies, reports, books, films, sites, video clips, and other interactive material. “Our hope is that these students will gain a real understanding of what this particular community faces and what sets them apart,” notes Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour. Information will also be available for current mental health professionals and for university programs that address military and veteran needs.
“The American Association of Pastoral Counselors is privileged to continue its relationship with Give an Hour as we work to provide support, resources, and networks of care to returning veterans and their families”, states Dr. Douglas M. Ronsheim, Executive Director, AAPC. AAPC has relationships with an array of graduate educational institutions that prepare students to serve in various behavioral health fields. Additionally, it has strong ties with many seminaries that educate future faith leaders. Informed faith community partners can be an important asset to realize the full utilization of community-based resources and expand the continuum of care.
The American Psychiatric Association is similarly continuing its partnership with Give an Hour and the efforts to educate the next generation of mental health providers on the issues relevant to the military and veteran populations through the Got Your 6 website. “Mental health is a major issue facing our country, and is a prevalent concern within our military population: the number of deaths by suicide in active-duty and non-active-duty military service members exceeded the total combat fatalities in Afghanistan in 2012. The American Psychiatric Association is honored to serve our military and veterans who have served their country,” says James H. Scully, Jr., M.D., Medical Director and CEO of APA.
States Norman B. Anderson, CEO of another Give an Hour partner, the American Psychological Association, “APA and our members remain committed to our nation’s military and veteran communities through clinical practice, research, and education and training. We are delighted to continue to work with Give an Hour to share education and training resources developed by our members and partners in the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the community.”
“NASW has long partnered with Give an Hour in its mission to provide free mental health services to the troops and families affected by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are now working together to encourage schools of social work to promote this field of practice to students,” says Dr. Elizabeth Clark, CEO of NASW. NASW also has a webpage (http://www.socialworkers.org/military.asp) that includes information about Schools of Social Work that already have a military or veterans focus or course. Through this partnership Got Your 6, Give an Hour, and NASW will facilitate the education and training of a mental health workforce equipped to meet the needs of our nation’s service members, veterans, and their families.
“We are honored to have Give an Hour serve as our lead nonprofit partner for the Got Your 6 health pillar,” said Chris Marvin, Managing Director of Got Your 6. “As we work toward our goal, this partnership will be instrumental in lending mental health support to service men and women and their families, which will have a lasting and positive effect in each community nationwide.”
Recent Pentagon reports indicate that suicide among military personnel continues to increase. “We are also now hearing concerns about an increase in the rate of suicide among military family members. We must continue to work with the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to reach all of those who suffer. And we must engage our country in a conversation about the mental health issues affecting those who serve and their families. Finally, we must fully utilize community-based resources to support and treat those in need,” says Dr. Van Dahlen. Give an Hour works to reduce the stigma associated with seeking treatment for mental health concerns among the military and veteran population. “The backing of Hollywood will be tremendously helpful in this effort. We are excited to work with Got Your 6 and our mental health partners to educate students in this field, helping to ensure there are enough trained professionals to address the continuing needs of the military community,” she adds.
About Got Your 6
Got Your 6 is a campaign designed to change the conversation in America such that veterans and military families are seen as civic assets and leaders who will reinvigorate our community. The campaign combines the reach and resources of the top American entertainment studios, networks, guilds, and agencies with the expertise and commitment of more than two dozen nonprofit organizations. Through an extensive media footprint and a set of substantial service commitments, Got Your 6 will ensure successful reintegration of veterans into civilian life. For more information, visit http://www.gotyour6.org. Mering-Carson developed the Got Your 6 brand and star/six device, and related creative. Brand Knew LLC developed the GotYour6.org website and the social media presence.
About Give an Hour™
Give an Hour is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), founded in September 2005 by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, a psychologist in the Washington, D.C., area. The organization is dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of military personnel, their families, and the communities affected by the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. As of January 2012, Give an Hour has approximately 6,700 providers across the nation—in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam—with more volunteer mental health professionals joining its network every day. In addition to counseling, providers also consult to schools, first responders, employers, and community organizations. Give an Hour has already provided over 82,000 hours of free service, valued at more than $8.2 million. To learn more, visit http://www.giveanhour.org or connected.giveanhour.org.
About American Association of Pastoral Counselors
The American Association of Pastoral Counselors (http://www.aapc.org ) is a membership and certification organization that strives to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Its mission is to provide training, education, and clinical/collaborative community-based services that integrate the resources of spirituality and psychotherapy.
About American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders. Visit the APA at http://www.psychiatry.org.
About American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 137,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.
About National Association of Social Workers
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), located in Washington, D.C., is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with 145,000 members. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.