Military Connection is Proud to Announce Media Sponsorship of the Campaign to Change Direction

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The Campaign to Change Direction movement is designed to change the story of mental health in America, and to encourage everyone to learn how to identify someone who may need help.

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If you were to recognize someone in your life was suffering, be it a friend, relative, neighbor or co-worker, would you know what to do?

While many are comfortable publicly acknowledging and seeking help for physical suffering, there are many people privately experience mental suffering, for which they almost never reach out. The Campaign to Change Direction urges all Americans to learn the five signs that indicate someone may be suffering. These signs include personality change, agitation, withdrawal, poor self-care, and hopelessness.

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 coalition of government, business, and nonprofit leaders addresses the urgent need for open discussions about mental health, mental illness and well-being.

“If you were to recognize someone in your life was suffering, be it a friend, relative, neighbor or co-worker, would you know what to do?” asked Debbie Gregory, CEO of MilitaryConnection.com. “The current statistics regarding suicide, especially in the military and veteran community, are a call to action for all of us to connect, reach out, inspire, and most of all, help.”

The backbone of this movement is Give an Hour, a non-profit organization providing free mental health services to US military personnel and their families. “By creating a shared mission, by educating Americans about the five signs of emotional suffering, by encouraging compassion and action, we can change our culture to reflect what we know to be true—that mental health is not something to be afraid of or embarrassed about," said Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour.

The campaign was inspired by the discussion at the White House National Conference on Mental Health in 2013, which followed the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut. While there may be numerous resources available within the community, it may take one person reaching out to another to help end the pain and suffering of someone struggling with a mental health issue.

About MilitaryConnection.com
MilitaryConnection.com 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 MilitaryConnection.com 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 the Campaign to Change Direction
The Change Direction initiative is a collection of concerned citizens, nonprofit leaders, and leaders from the private sector who have come together to create a new story in America about mental health, mental illness, and wellness. The movement addresses Mental Health Concerns/Mental Disorders, Homelessness and Suicide. You can either make a personal pledge, or a community/group pledge through your business or organization at changedirection.org.

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 155,000 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.

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Debbie Gregory
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