The Sandy Hook shooting brought up many conversations about gun control, but it also got people talking about mental health care…or that lack of it…in this country. I’m not sure that people realize just how bad it is and my hope is that people finally take a serious look at the state of mental health care and start to do something to improve it.
That is why I love Give An Hour. They are working to develop a national network of mental health professions who volunteer an hour (or more) of their time to offer counseling services to those in need. Currently, they are dedicating their resources to assisting members of the military and their families. They offer treatment for anxiety, depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, sexual health and intimacy concerns, and loss and grieving. For members of the military, many of whom have been deployed to a war zone more than once, these services are very necessary. And because the organization is entirely separate from the military, those seeking treatment need not worry about the stigma that can be associated with mental health issues.
The other great thing about Give An Hour is that they offer those who receive help an opportunity to give back to their communities. Through their network, they can match recipients with other organizations in their communities that need help and the recipients can then donate their time back to these organizations…kind of like paying it forward. It allows those who do not like to accept charity the opportunity to “pay” for the services they receive, again making them more likely to see treatment.
It’s a really great organization and with our help, maybe they can someday expand their services to everyone who needs it. If you are a mental health provider with time to donate, please click here to find out how to get involved. If you are a member of the military who needs counseling services, click here to find out how to get started. And if you have a few dollars to spare, click here to make a donation.
We have to address the mental health care in this country and this organization is off to a great start.