Many Servicemembers who serve in the military experience a great deal of stress in serving their country. Because of their job or their service specialty, they encounter stress and then they cannot always seek treatment. If they seek treatment through the chain of command, or through traditional military medical services, they risk being labeled or looked down upon. You would not think that this is true, given the nature of stress and mental health proactive activity in society and the military, but sometimes this is very true.
Because much of the combat related specialties are based on positive can do morale, and a warrior type attitude, sometimes when Servicemembers seek mental health treatment, they can be perceived as weak, or otherwise looked at in a negative fashion. Because of this, there is a positive, reinforcing method of seeking treatment that helps the Servicemember, without making them lose respect or otherwise becoming a negative factor.
A Treatment professional, Dr. Barbara V. Romberg identified that many Veterans that are coming home or who deal with combat stress need support from the mental health community. Many veterans suffer in silence because of not being able to openly seek treatment. So, acting alone she began a program called Give An Hour. The idea is very simple: Service professionals in the mental health field sign up, and then donate an hour, or multiple hour blocks of time for free, to listen to and treat military Servicemembers. There are written records kept, but the records are not kept for military reasons. All records are kept are confidential, and military members can receive professional support, encouragement and treatment without embarrassment or fear of losing face among their peers.
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The program has been in effect for two years and has been wildly successful. Recently, over 1,000 professionals have signed up nationally, and there are now providers available in most areas of the country through the Give-An-Hour network. The services are available over the Internet, at www.giveanhour.org. When you visit the web site you can enter your zip code, and be directed to the closest professional that offers services near you.
Now veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress, brain injuries, as well as other stress have a way out. Many veterans have already benefited over the last two years from the program, and received support and encouragement that have allowed them to become healthy.