There is a new solution to the problem of counseling and the chain of Command. Military Servicemembers often hesitate to seek counseling, especially if in a combat related field, for fear of being seen as weak, or incapable of handling normal job and military related stress. It is for this reason than at times Military Servicemembers avoid or ignore warning signs and triggers, and then suffer long term damage or hurt that could have been lessened if they had received diagnosis, assistance or help. Well there is a new solution. It is called Give An Hour, and it is an independent effort, completely separate from the military in any way. It was started to assist returning Veterans and combat Servicemembers who need to speak to someone, or to talk, and to give them a safe, confidential avenue of receiving mental health support and care that will not go down on their service record or in their official medical service chart.
Their mission is to develop an expanding positive network of mental health professionals that volunteer their time to treat both routine and acute conditions. They are designed to handle any mental health issues that come their way from the normal to the chronic, and they have targeted the United States Armed Forces as their goal population. Servicemembers who return from Active duty anywhere in the world, but especially back from Afghanistan and Iraq are able to contact the network and receive help.
Give An Hour is a nationwide resource of active practicing mental health professionals, who agree to give one hour of free medical health Services each week. The Health professionals register, and then when military Servicemembers are seeking help they are referred to these volunteer mental health professionals. The assistance is completely confidential, and any additional treatment or assistance is based on the permission of the Servicemember. But this process allows effective, caring support and treatment for those Servicemembers who seek mental health services and support.
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Our troops do not just suffer physical injuries in service to their country, but also emotional and psychological trauma. Previously Servicemembers have returned to have only the “official channels” through their base medical services, and if they ask for mental health services or a referral, then it can literally count as a black mark in their service record. It was for this reason that the Give An Hour Program was developed, to benefit Servicemembers. Accessing their online Internet Web site yields a place to enter a zip code. From that, the Servicemember can find a local mental health professional that is willing to donate their time to help.