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Free Counseling for as Long as it is Needed

Posted by on March 8, 2016 in News

Give an Hour provides no cost mental health treatment for military, veterans, and loved ones regardless of status or discharge. Our sessions are unlimited and extend to individuals who may not be eligible for other benefits through the DEERS and VA/DOD system.

Clients can access these free services by visiting www.giveanhour.org and clicking “get help”.

What is Give an Hour?

  • Give an Hour is a nonprofit organization providing free counseling and other mental health services to active duty service members, members of our National Guard and Reserve, and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who have separated or retired from any branch of military service, along with their family members and loved ones.
  • Give an Hour currently has a network of nearly 7,000 licensed mental health professionals willing to donate one hour per week of free counseling for as long as it is needed.
  • Give an Hour was founded by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in the Washington, D.C., area.  Dr. Van Dahlen currently serves as President.

Are family members eligible to receive counseling through Give an Hour?

  • In addition to military personnel and their spouses and children, Give an Hour also offers free services to parents, siblings, and unmarried partners whether or not they are entitled to receive mental health benefits through the military or VA. In short, anyone affected by a loved one’s military service is eligible.

How can I get help?

  • Visit www.giveanhour.org and click on “Search for a Provider” (in the top right portion of your screen) or “For Visitors” (in the menu on the left). You will be prompted to enter your zip code, and then a list of providers in your area will appear. You can also contact us at [email protected] for help locating a provider.

Where are Give an Hour providers located?

  • Providers are located in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam.

What if there is no provider in my area?

  • Please contact us at [email protected]. We will use our network and our relationships with the national mental health associations to locate a provider for you.  Also, many of our providers are able to do telephone or video sessions.

The military and the VA both offer mental health services, what is unique about Give an Hour?

  • By providing services that are separate from the military establishment, we offer an essential option for men and women who might otherwise fail to seek or receive appropriate services.  There is no paperwork, no insurance claims, and no money changing hands.

Is there a limit to the number of times I can see a counselor through Give an Hour?

  • There is no limit.  Our counselors are available for as long as help is needed.

How can I get help for my husband/wife when they don’t think they have a problem?

  • Be direct but sensitive. Say things like: “Hey, I’m worried about you.” This makes it clear you are speaking out of concern and caring.
  • It’s also good to be able to offer a specific recommendation, such as Give an Hour.
  • Avoid being judgmental or dismissive. Don’t, for example, tell someone to “snap out of it.”
  • Even if you do everything right, the person in need of help may not respond, at least not right away. Keep trying.
  • If you’re still not able to get your loved one in for counseling, come by yourself.


What are some symptoms that I should be looking out for?

  • Recurrent nightmares
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Feeling distant from others
  • Increased heart rate or sweating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling constantly “on guard”
  • Being easily startled
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Talk of suicide or killing others


If I am not a mental health professional, can I help?

  • There are numerous opportunities to volunteer in other areas, such as outreach, education, marketing/public relations, and administration. Anyone wishing to learn more can contact[email protected].

If I am a mental health professional, how can I help?

  • If you are a licensed mental health professional, visit www.giveanhour.org and click on “Register as a Provider” (in the top right portion of your screen) or “For Providers” (in the menu at left) and fill out the registration form.  Providers’ licensure is verified. Give an Hour providers must have medical malpractice insurance and follow the same standards of care as those in private practice and may only practice in areas in which they have expertise. Give an Hour does offer training so volunteers with an interest in expanding their areas of expertise can do so.


Visit www.giveanhour.org

About The Author
Mark Baird

Hello, I'm Mark Baird and I founded Hire Patriots. My wife and I are 'helpers.' We are concerned about meeting the practical needs of our US veterans and their families. We began a job board for local residents to post chores that they need help with. It has been very successful. Thousands of local US Military and veterans partially or entirely support themselves from our website. We are looking for others near US Military bases who would also like to have a HirePatriots.com website for their location. Find more information about our military programs at PatrioticHearts.org. And please make a contribution of any kind. Thank you.

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