Military Connection Joins Government, Business and Non-profit Leaders to "Change Direction" on Mental Health

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Give an Hour launches the Campaign to Change Direction

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The current statistics regarding suicide, especially in the military and veteran community, are a call to action for all of us.

Military Connection, in partnership with Give an Hour and other leading public, private and non-profit partners, proudly joins the launch of the Campaign to Change Direction. The Campaign to Change Direction is a new national movement designed to change the story of mental health in America. It is a fact that one in five citizens has a diagnosable mental health condition, and that more Americans are expected to die this year by suicide than in car accidents.

The Change Direction initiative is a coalition of government, business, and nonprofit leaders who have come together to address the urgent need for open discussions about mental health, mental illness and well-being. This campaign was inspired by the discussion at the White House National Conference on Mental Health in 2013, which followed the tragic events in Newtown, Conn.

While many are comfortable publicly acknowledging and seeking help for physical suffering, many people privately experience mental suffering, for which they almost never reach out. The Campaign urges all Americans to learn the five signs that indicate someone may be suffering.

The launch will take place on Wednesday, March 4, from 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. at the Annenberg Theater at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. The event will also be available via livestream at

“I am delighted to partner with Give an Hour to help spread the word about this vital campaign,” said Debbie Gregory, CEO of “The current statistics regarding suicide, especially in the military and veteran community, are a call to action for all of us.”

Featured speakers include Jean Case, CEO, Case Foundation; Bruce Cohen, Academy Award-winning producer of “Silver Linings Playbook”; and Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D., founder and president, Give an Hour. Additional speakers include physicians, elected officials, CEOs, and leaders in the health care field. There will be a musical performance by: G.R.L., an all-girl group touched by tragedy when member Simone Battle committed suicide in September, 2014.

About offers one of the most comprehensive directories of military and Veteran resources on the web, focusing on employment, education and more. Military Connection has been named a Top 100 Employment Web Site by the International Association of Employment Web Sites for five years in a row. It is that focus on employment that garnered one of the prestigious Weddle’s Users Choice Awards for 2015. Military Connection features thousands of pages of resources and information. There is something for everyone including, but not limited to a Job Board and Virtual Job Fair, comprehensive Post 9/11 GI Bill education information with a directory of thousands of scholarships and a Veteran school directory, news, press releases, special events, pay charts, benefits, service directories, commissaries and exchanges, golf courses and more. Military Connection has the honor of working with incredible non-profits, such as Give An Hour, to improve the quality of life for those who serve. When the next tour is back home, it’s on Military Connection, the Go To Site.

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. Give an Hour has been instrumental in the development of the community-based approach to address the challenges that face our military community, having created a successful model for harnessing skill-based volunteers eager to offer their services. Thus far, the network of nearly 7,000 licensed mental health professionals has provided more than 145,000 hours of care and support to those in need. Give an Hour is now working to change the story about mental health and wellness in America. By leading a collective impact effort to support the coordination and collaboration among those working to optimize mental health care, Give an Hour and its partners will address common barriers to understanding mental health and raise awareness about the signs of emotional suffering. To learn more, visit or

To learn more about the Campaign to Change Direction, after March 4, visit:

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Debbie Gregory
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