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A military discount is available to veterans, service members and their families. Please use the code "armedservices" to take advantage of this discount. Military RSVP here.

Operation: HOH Press Release

Just under a year ago, Patrick Bolchoz, a 31-year old sales executive, came home to find that his roommate and dear friend, Francis “Franky” Kim, a former Army Captain, who fought in Afghanistan during his five years in the military, had taken his own life. Sadly, twenty-two veterans commit suicide each day in America and many of them, like Kim, suffered from post-traumatic stress (PTS). Former Army Captain Everett Weston was Kim’s close friend in the Army where they served side-by-side to protect our country. After meeting at Kim’s memorial service last December, Weston and Bolchoz decided they needed to take action to build awareness about the number of veterans suffering from post traumatic stress and other understandable psychological consequences of war. They have since formed Operation: Heal Our Heroes (HOH) and will be hosting their first fundraising event in December with all proceeds going to Give an Hour, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that provides free mental health services to military personnel and their families.

According to a major study done by the RAND Corporation in 2008, at least 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from post traumatic stress, but only about half seek treatment. Of those who do seek care, only half receive “minimally adequate” treatment. War veterans have a higher risk for developing PTS and, if left untreated, PTS can have long term and disabling consequences. Severe depression is often a symptom of PTS, and, if it goes unchecked, the result can be suicide. During the final years of the current conflicts in the Middle East, there were more suicides among active duty soldiers than there were combat deaths. Studies indicate that of the twenty-two veteran suicides each day, thirty-one percent of these suicides are committed by veterans age 49 and younger.

“Having personally experienced the perils of war and felt the invisible burden our soldiers bear, I believe it is our responsibility as Americans to improve our understanding of the effects of PTS so that we are better equipped to support friends or family who may be suffering,” says HOH co-Founder Everett Weston. “While the pain of losing Franky will never completely fade, it has inspired Patrick and me to do everything in our power to galvanize the support of those who want to help and change the culture around PTS so that our nation's heroes do not have to face their psychological wounds alone.”

Operation: Heal our Heroes’ mission is to raise awareness about the serious mental health issues that affect veterans and civilians alike so that individuals are better equipped to recognize signs in themselves or others and take action to assist when someone is suffering. The hope is that by raising awareness about these issues, veterans will feel more comfortable seeking support and help. Funds raised through HOH’s efforts will support education, outreach, and access to quality care. HOH will partner with existing foundations and 501(c)(3) organizations to support quality work that is currently being done.

“Living with Franky, I witnessed firsthand how his symptoms affected him on a daily basis, and this has inspired me to take action in the form of partnering with Everett to create HOH,” says HOH co-Founder Patrick Bolchoz. "Our goal is to build awareness, raise funds, and educate not only our generation, but our entire society, that this is indeed a REAL and significant problem that needs to be addressed head on.”

“In addition to providing direct counseling services, a large part of Give an Hour’s focus is on education, training, and awareness,” says Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D., founder and president of Give an Hour. “We are honored to be a part of Heal Our Heroes efforts to raise awareness and improve access to mental health care and are grateful to be the recipient of funds raised at their inaugural gala.”

Operation: Heal Our Heroes will launch with its first annual gala and fundraiser to be held on Thursday, December 4th from 8:00PM-11:00PM at Haus in New York City. For more information on HOH please visit www.OperationHOH.com.

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About Give an Hour:

Give an Hour™ is 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. Give an Hour has nearly 7,000 providers across the nation, who have already provided approximately 140,000 hours of free service, valued at more than $14 million. In addition to counseling, providers also consult to schools, first responders, employers, and community organizations.


11/10/2014
Media Contact:
Lauren Itzkowitz, Give an Hour
litzkowitz@giveanhour.org
(240) 533-1669


Give an Hour Receives Grant from McCormick Foundation
Funds to Improve Online Infrastructure and Begin Work in Illinois to Address the Needs of Those Who Have Experienced Military Sexual Assault


Washington, D.C. (November 4, 2014) 

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 proud to announce that it was awarded a $100,000 grant from the McCormick Foundation. This grant will allow Give an Hour to improve its online infrastructure to increase the number of veterans who utilize their free mental health services and to begin work with various organizations and entities, including the Illinois National Guard and Reserves, to provide counseling for military sexual assault victims.

The grant to Give an Hour is part of $5.8 million in funding announced this month by the McCormick Foundation to support journalismveteranscivics and early care, and education. The McCormick Foundation's Veterans Program focuses on helping veterans find quality employment, and also helps them navigate the diverse and fragmented array of services available to them.

"It can be tremendously confusing for a returning veteran to find programs that help them re-integrate into society," said Eli Williamson, Director of the Veterans Program at the McCormick Foundation. "With more than 40,000 nonprofits dedicated to veterans across the country and a VA system that struggles to meet the demand, it is of vital importance to highlight the pathways to the right programs with the greatest ease."

Half of the funding will be used to strategize upgrades to Give an Hourís technology systems, processes, and online presence to better engage the population it serves, including the development of a mobile interface to allow those in need easy access to services from a mobile device.

The remainder of the grant will allow Give an Hour to develop a program and lay the foundation to provide appropriate mental health support to individuals and their families in Illinois who have filed cases of military sexual assault with the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps. The funding will be used to engage in a thorough review of resources available in the state to meet the specific needs of this population and to develop relationships necessary to deliver appropriate care and services to those who are suffering. Give an Hour will identify appropriate stakeholders, map existing resources, and develop an extensive outreach strategy, while increasing the number of mental health professionals in its current network.

"Give an Hour has considerable skill and expertise in coordinating community-based efforts to assist those who serve and their families," says Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour. "By outlining a comprehensive and integrated system of care for those who have experienced sexual assault while serving our country, we will begin to build a coordinated effort that will greatly increase the likelihood that those who have experienced assault, along with their families, have access to qualified mental health professionals familiar with military and veteran culture, military sexual assault, and post-traumatic stress in particular," she adds.

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. 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 140,000 hours of free service, valued at more than $14 million. To learn more, visit www.giveanhour.org or connected.giveanhour.org.
11/09/2014

From the White House blog, "In August, President Obama announced 19 new executive actions to serve the military community, which included a Joining Forces Wellness Week from November 10-14. During the week, (Joining Forces) be joining medical, behavioral health, and academic organizations to provide free virtual training to providers and students across the country.

Each day during Wellness Week, (Joining Forces) hosted a webinar:

  • Nov. 10 — Military Culture Counts: Assisting Service Members and Veterans
  • Nov. 11 — Taking a Military Health History: Four Critical Questions
  • Nov. 12 — Helping Military Service Members, Veterans, and Those Who Support Them in Transition
  • Nov. 13 — Parents of Service Members: An Underserved Population
  • Nov. 14 — Telehealth: Serving the Needs of Our Military Families Through Technology

Archived versions of all five events are available now: http://www.deploymentpsych.org/JFWW2014

The Center for Deployment Psychology hosted the webinars through their training platform, and content was provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges, American Academy of Nursing, American Psychiatric Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Nurses Foundation, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, and Give an Hour. 

From the very beginning of Joining Forces, the health care, behavioral health, and academic communities have answered the call to provide quality support for veterans, service members, and their families. Next week will give providers and students an opportunity to learn about topics such as military culture, taking a military health history, stress-related injuries, the unique needs of parents of service members, and tele-health. We applaud the efforts of these organizations to expand the knowledge of providers and students who interact with veterans, service members, and their families."

08/06/2014

The film, UNLOAD, is part of a 2-year outreach project to improve global understanding and quality of therapy for veterans. Give an Hour president, Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D., lends her expertise to the documentary.

The aims of the project:

  • To improve awareness and understanding of the specific challenges and needs associated with veteran specific psychological therapy.
  • To increase empathy for veterans and their families who may be suffering with trauma related mental health problems.
  • To stress that the majority of veterans return from war with no mental health problems, are able to transition well to civilian life and have a hugely positive impact on society. And that those who do come home with the invisible wounds of war are able to heal and continue to be assets in their communities.
  • To reach out to veterans and families who may be struggling with mental health problems and encourage them to seek help.
  • To stress to health providers the importance of providing 'veteran focused' psychological therapy.

Please visit the UNLOAD Indiegogo webpage for more information and an interview of Barbara Van Dahlen. Fundraising for this campaign is closed. 

06/18/2014


What?

A three-hour introduction to forensic evaluations for veterans was provided to interested volunteers by the Law and Psychiatry Division of Yale’s Department of Psychiatry, Give an Hour, and Connecticut Veterans Legal Center.

View the full informational flyer, complete with FAQ for mental health providers.

Who?

The Connecticut Veteans Legal Center helps veterans recovering from homelessness and mental illness overcome legal barriers to housing, healthcare, and income. Their attorneys also help veterans apply for discharge upgrades in order to grant them better access to VA benefits. Give an Hour volunteers can write psych evaluations to help veterans through the legal process.  

Contact Information

Please contact the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center Volunteer Coordinator, Morgan Rusk, at (203)-626-1096 or mrusk@ctveteranslegal.org for more details.

Continuing Education Credit

3 CEs are being offered for those who participated in person. Click below for the post-training assessment. A recording and home study assessment will be available soon!

 



06/13/2014

#PTSD Awareness: Learn. Connect. Share.

  • Visit the National Center for PTSD’s Website at www.PTSD.va.gov throughout June - PTSD Awareness Month - for resources, links, and stories about PTSD, both for the public and mental health professionals.
  • Visit www.ptsd.va.gov/about/ptsd-awareness/ for resources and suggestions, and share the site with your friends and colleagues.

You can make a difference today.

11/05/2013

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, announces that it will launch on Helpouts, a new service from Google that connects people who can give help to people who need help over live video (http://helpouts.google.com).

Helpouts by Google is a way for individuals anywhere in the world to connect with experts via live video. Experts will be available in a wide range of categories and Give an Hour will bring a network of licensed mental health professionals to the platform. Within Helpouts, individuals can book on-demand video sessions or schedule sessions in advance.

“Helpouts’ mission is to connect experienced, skilled, passionate people who want to give help to people around the world who need it, which aligns perfectly with Give an Hour’s mission of providing free mental health services from a network of licensed mental health professionals donating their time,” says Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D., founder and president of Give an Hour.

Veterans who live where there are no mental health providers or who are physically unable to travel from their homes will now have easy access to mental health care. Helpouts, which supports HIPAA-compliant providers, is confidential and secure and will remove barriers such as geography and mobility, allowing individuals to receive help wherever they live. Helpouts can be accessed 24/7 from a computer or mobile device. “This platform, I believe, will revolutionize the way mental health professionals are able to offer their services,” adds Dr. Van Dahlen. "We are proud to be working with Google to refine this innovation," she says.

“Helpouts is a natural extension of Google’s mission. There is a lot of information that is not documented on the web -- it’s in people’s heads, it’s informed by personal experiences. We believe Helpouts is an easy and efficient way to bring this kind of information to the world,” says Udi Manber, who leads Helpouts for Google. “Our goal is simple: help people help each other. We want to use the convenience and efficiency of the web to enable everyone, no matter where they are or what time it is, to easily connect with someone who can help.”

As this platform is rolled out, Give an Hour providers will be available via Helpouts in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington, D.C. to give services within their state. "Give an Hour is excited to begin this new era in mental health care. Over the coming months we will be adding more states as we move toward national coverage," notes Dr. Van Dahlen.

# # #

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 August 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 95,000 hours of free service, valued at more than $9.5 million. To learn more, visit http://www.giveanhour.org or connected.giveanhour.org.

About Google 
Google is a proud supporter of the U.S. military veteran community and deeply committed to helping all service members and military spouses make a successful transition to civilian life. GoogleForVeterans.com, youtube.com/veterans, and VetNetHQ.com are some of the many ways our products are helping veterans and military families pursue their goals. Follow us at google.com/+GoogleForVeterans for all updates related to our support of the community.

08/28/2013

Detroit Tigers All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander joined the Detroit Tigers Foundation, an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, to announce a commitment of $1 million to launch an initiative called Wins for Warriors that will support the mental health and emotional well-being of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families in Detroit, Richmond, Va., and Norfolk, Va.

Partnering with Wins for Warriors, Give an Hour will launch two new positions on the ground in Detroit and the Richmond/Norfolk markets to target these regions in order to coordinate services and provide additional mental health support and care to our the military communities there.

Visit the Wins for Warriors website to learn more, read up-to-date news and donate.


01/29/2012

American Corporate Partners Announces "Quick Question" Community Web Site

This free online business Q&A community for veterans connects veterans with business leaders across the country. Through an interactive and easy-to-use interface, veterans can ask questions related to career development, employment, and small business; follow topics and Q&A threads; or message advisors to get answers to their business questions and expand their network.

Visit acp-advisornet.org.

01/01/2012

Give an Hour™ is pleased to participate in the National Capitol Area's annual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). Our CFC number is 65498.

If you work for the federal government in the greater Washington area, this is an easy way for you to support GAH. Your tax-deductible donation will go directly to our services for military families.

You can also help by promoting Give an Hour™ at your agency's CFC Campaign Kick-off event. Many agencies hold charity fairs and rallies to kick-off their CFC campaigns. You can make arrangements with your agency's CFC coordinator to attend these events as a representative of GAH.

If you don't work for the federal government but have friends, families members, or neighbors who do, please spread the word. Tell them to use our CFC number, 65498, to designate GAH as their charity of choice.

Thank you!

01/01/2012

Young people with disabilities--civilian and military--face severe obstacles as they transition from adolescence to adulthood, military to civilian life, and school to work. Supportive services and timely interventions are critical to ensure that what is often a period of extreme challenge for young people with disabilities is in fact a moment of great opportunity.

The National Youth Transitions Center and National Veterans Center, developed by The HSC Foundation, bring together the resources of multiple organizations to provide transitions-related services, research, public policy, best practices, pilot projects, and evaluation so that youth and young veterans with disabilities can achieve their greatest level of independence.

Please visit HSC Brochure or hscfoundation.org for more information.

01/01/2012

CPTWeb is a free, 9-hour Web-based, multimedia, education course for mental health professionals seeking to learn Cognitive Processing Therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, and it is now available to Give an Hour providers at http://cpt.musc.edu.

Based on Cognitive Processing Therapy Veteran/Military Version: Therapist's Manual (Resick, Monson, & Chard, 2008), the asynchronous, modular, self-study approach of CPTWeb allows practitioners to learn at their own pace from virtually any computer with Internet access.

CPTWeb was funded by the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery and is intended for use by mental health professionals within the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is also available for use by civilian therapists who provide treatment to active duty or retired personnel and members of the Guard and Reserve. It may also be helpful to mental health professionals who are providing treatment to family members.

CPTWeb is offered at no charge, and mental health professionals who complete the course receive 9 contact hours of continuing education from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Each module of CPTWeb includes:

*a video introduction to the technique

*pre- and post-tests of knowledge of a treatment component

*an overview of the module's learning objectives

*a description of the techniques of the treatment component and step-by-step instructions for how to implement them, including sample scripts for introducing the techniques to patients

*multiple video demonstrations of the techniques

*suggested practice assignments for patients

*discussions of common clinical challenges that often arise in real-life practice

For more information, please visit http://cpt.musc.edu.

12/27/2011

Give an Hour™ has been approved as an eBay Giving Works charity. Giving Works enables eBay users to support their favorite causes whenever they buy and sell. Any seller can donate part of his or her sale price to a nonprofit. The seller decides which organization to support and how much to give (10-100 percent), and gets a tax deduction for their gift.

To go directly to our Giving Works page, click here. Or, sellers, just be sure to specify that you want to designate Give an Hour™ as a recipient of a percentage of your proceeds when you list your item.

Thank you!

12/17/2011

Veteran CareGiver was developed squarely in response to expressed challenges by Wounded Warrior and Veteran families, and Veterans Affairs leadership. While no single entity or group can respond flawlessly to the individual matters faced by each Veteran due to sheer enormity of the task, families have openly spoken about their altered lives in the face of injury, illness, or aging. At times, feeling isolated, faced with multiple simultaneous issues, and needing answers, they also have expressed needs beyond survival.

Visit veterancaregiver.com for a variety of  helpful resources including benefits factlets, forum postings, veterans service officers, organization listings, legislative hill updates, and events calendars.

 

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Operation: Heal Our Heroes Gala

The 1st Annual Operation: Heal our Heroes Gala to be held in New York City on December 4th to raise awareness of Post-Tramautic Stress (PTS) amongst our service men and women and benefit Give an Hour.


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Give an Hour Receives Grant from McCormick Foundation

Funds to Improve Online Infrastructure and Begin Work in Illinois to Address the Needs of Those Who Have Experienced Military Sexual Assault


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Joining Forces Wellness Week

Give an Hour participated in the Joining Forces Wellness Week, a series of hour-long webinars each day November 10-14 and sponsored a webinar on Telehealth. 


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