In Honor of the 2014 Martin Luther King Day of Service, Give an Hour Calls on Mental Health Professionals to Volunteer Counseling to Military and Veterans

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Nonprofit Encourages Mental Health Community to Assist Troops, Family Members, and Those Returning after Afghanistan Drawdown

Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D.

There is a great opportunity to make a tremendous impact on the lives of so many of our military men and women and their families—just by donating one hour a week.

Give an Hour™, 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 encourages licensed mental health professionals to participate in the King Day of Service, to be held on Martin Luther King Day, January 20, 2014, by joining the Give an Hour network as a volunteer provider by signing up here:

“As the war in Afghanistan winds down we must be prepared to support those who may come home with the understandable—but invisible—psychological injuries of war. While many great service projects will happen on Martin Luther King Day as part of the King Day of Service, we are using the day to recruit volunteers to our network. They will commit to giving a minimum of one hour a week for a year. With approximately 400,000 licensed mental health professionals in the United States, we know there is a great opportunity to make a tremendous impact on the lives of so many of our military men and women and their families—just by donating one hour a week,” says Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour.

Give an Hour’s providers are psychiatrists, substance abuse counselors, psychologists, pastoral counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychiatric nurses, and licensed professional counselors. More than 7,000 volunteer mental health professionals are available—in all 50 states. They are volunteering free counseling services to active duty service members, members of the National Guard and Reserve forces, and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who have separated or retired from any branch of military service. Give an Hour is also offering free services to parents, siblings, unmarried partners, grandparents—in short anyone affected by a loved one's service.

By providing services that are separate from the military establishment, Give an Hour offers an essential option for men and women who might otherwise fail to seek or receive appropriate services. There is no paperwork; no insurance claims need to be filed, and no money changes hands. Give an Hour’s services are absolutely free and there is no limit to the number of sessions one can receive.

Mental health professionals interested in joining Give an Hour can complete an easy online form at Visitors in need of services can log on to and use the provider search to locate a mental health professional in their area who meets their needs.

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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 November 2013, Give an Hour has nearly 7,000 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 approximately 104,000 hours of free service, valued at more than $10.4 million. To learn more, visit or

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Lauren Itzkowitz
Give an Hour
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