Give an Hour
Give an Hour Newsletter
Issue 4 March 2010
In This Issue
New Public Service Announcements
March Survey Results
50 Women Changing the World
Kentucky Announces Support
Employee Spotlight
Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy
Ride 2 Recovery
Christian Military Wives
New Military Culture URL
Quick Links

Spring is a time of renewal, a time of hope. As I think about the many efforts currently under way to assist our returning troops and their families, I am very hopeful indeed. While there is still much to do to support our military community, we are pleased to bring you lots of good news, including the exciting results of our latest provider survey. As always, we are grateful for your dedication and generosity in serving those who serve our country.

Take care,

Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D.
Founder and President, Give an Hour
Supporting Give an Hour™
Give an Hour™ is extremely grateful to our generous sponsors:
  • Eli Lilly Foundation
  • Capital One
  • Philip L. Graham Fund
  • The Standard Charitable Foundation 
  • Veterans Advantage
  • Walmart Foundation   
  • Bob Woodruff Foundation
If you are interested in individual or corporate giving, please contact Katherine Wilkins, director of development, at
Give an Hour™ Unveils New Public Service Announcements
Thanks to a generous grant from the Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation, in partnership with the American Psychiatric Foundation, Give an Hour™ has two new radio PSAs and one new television PSA.  To listen to/view these powerful promotional pieces, visit:
If you have connections to local radio and television stations who might be interested in airing these pieces, please let Lauren Itzkowitz know at
Give an Hour™ Announces Results of March Survey
We are thrilled to announce the results of our March 2010 survey, which shows a 22 percent increase (an additional 4,000 hours) in services rendered since the last survey in November 2009.
Give an Hour™ periodically surveys its volunteer providers to assess its impact and effectiveness and to determine how programs and services can be adapted to best meet the needs of this population.
The March 2010 survey found:
  • 24,106.25 total hours have been donated in mental health services, not including volunteer hours spent on operations
  • 8,643.5 hours were given in direct, face-to-face counseling
  • 1,477.5 hours were given in phone counseling
  • 10,015.25 hours were given in education and outreach
  • 3,970 hours were given in additional ways, such as community events and support to veterans service organizations.
Using a nationwide average of $100 per hour for mental health services, Give an Hour providers responding to the survey have donated $2,410,625 since Give an Hour began providing these critical services in July 2007.
Give an Hour has nearly 5,000 licensed mental health professionals on its network, in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico. Give an Hour aims to recruit 40,000, or 10 percent, of the nation's 400,000 mental health professionals to this cause.
"It is gratifying to see a continued increase in the hours our volunteer providers are giving.  It lets us know that the work we are doing to encourage military personnel and their families to seek help is effective" says Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour.  "Many of our providers are offering help in ways other than direct counseling - they are working on education and outreach in their own communities.  This assistance is vital to our mission of reducing stigma," Dr. Van Dahlen adds.
Barbara newBarbara Van Dahlen Named Among 50 Women Changing the World
Woman's Day magazine included Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour™, in its list of 50 "Women Changing the World."
Others recognized on this list are Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Billie Jean King, and many other notable women. The full list is available at
"I am honored to receive this recognition for the work Give an Hour™ has done to bring easily accessible mental health care to our military men and women and their families," says Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour™.  "It is truly humbling to be honored along with such great and talented women." 
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear Announces Support for Give an Hour™
Give an Hour™ statewide initiatives provide the opportunity to enhance GAH's national efforts with local, grassroots efforts to ensure maximum participation by mental health professionals and to generate awareness among the military and veteran communities and the general public. 

With the assistance of Give an Hour™ volunteer provider Michael McFarland, program administrator and state suicide prevention coordinator for the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental & Intellectual Disabilities, we are proud to make Kentucky our latest statewide initiative.

On January 14, Give an Hour™ Founder and President Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen joined Governor Steve Beshear and Adjutant General Edward Tonini at a press event at the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort to launch the effort. 
Since the launch, the number of volunteer providers on the Give an Hour™ network in Kentucky has increased 68 percent.
Give an Hour™ Launches Statewide Initiative in Arkansas
With Support of Governor Mike Beebe
Give an Hour™ is proud to announce a statewide initiative in Arkansas to provide free counseling and other mental health services to members of the military, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, their loved ones, and their communities.
"We have been working to make sure that Arkansas veterans and their families know that help is available, and that it's okay to reach out and ask for it," Governor Mike Beebe said.  "This is the next step.  The more professionals we have ready to provide counseling and guidance, the more assurance and assistance we can give to those who serve."

"I am honored to have the support of Governor Beebe and proud to be working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Division of Behavioral Health Services, and the Yellow Ribbon Task Force here in Arkansas," says Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour™.  "We are also working with the state associations of the major national mental health organizations to recruit more providers to our network, which will help ensure that help is available where and when it is needed." 
Employee Spotlight Lauren 3

Lauren Itzkowitz, Director of Public Relations
Lauren Itzkowitz, a graduate of Tulane University, with degrees in English and history, brings more than 15 years experience in public relations in major markets, including Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.  As a seasoned media relations expert, she has secured placements in major national and local media outlets, including broadcast and print.  Lauren has worked on a wide range of client industries, including government, hospitality, consumer, entertainment, and nonprofit. Currently, Lauren works as director of public relations for Give an Hour™.  She spends much of her free time as a volunteer. Lauren serves on the board of her youngest son's preschool and is president of the Oakleaf Club of Washington, D.C. (the naval medical officers spouses' club). In addition, she is sustainer of the Junior League of Washington and serves as a room parent for her daughter's classroom, while also chairing the Scholastic Book Fair at her son's school. Lauren's volunteer work has earned her the President's Gold Volunteer Service Award and the National Military Family Association's "Very Important Patriot" award. Lauren is married to CDR Scott Itzkowitz, Medical Corps, United States Navy, and has 3 children, ages 10, 7 and 3.
Give an Hour™ Provider in Florida Offers
Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy
Dr. Darlene Williams, a Give anHour provider in Tampa Bay, Florida, is offering ongoing group therapy for female veterans and service women suffering from PTSD and/or MST.
This group will be utilizing equine-assisted psychotherapy and will meet for two hours on alternating sundays in Pinellas Park, Florida.  See for more information on this dynamic technology, as well as the latest research on treatment efficacy. 
Darlene Williams, Ph.D., P.A.
Clinical & Forensic Psychology
Ride 2 Recovery Support GAH Cyclists in Ride 2 Recovery's Texas, Mid-Atlantic, and Rocky Mountain Challenges

The Ride 2 Recovery (R2R) program organizes six-day cycling challenges and other events in an effort to raise funding for cycling programs at military and VA locations around the United States. The goal of R2R is to help make a difference in the lives of vets by assisting in their mental and physical rehabilitation. Funds raised support the participation of wounded warriors and vets in R2R challenge rides and provide bikes, technical equipment, clinics, and outings for wounded warriors and vets.

This spring Give an Hour™ hopes to sponsor riders with "invisible injuries" in the "Don't Mess with Texas Challenge," April 6-11, and the "Memorial Challenge," May 31-June 5, which goes from Washington, D.C., to Virginia Beach. We also plan to sponsor riders in the Rocky Mountain Challenge, from July 31 to August 5, as participants head south along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

GAH Director of Military Outreach Andrew Pogany will be on the Texas ride. If you are a wounded warrior who would like to ride in one of the challenges, or an individual or corporate employee who would like to sponsor a rider, please e-mail Andrew at The cost is $1,100 per rider.

Over 36,000 service members have been wounded in action in our nation's eight-year battle in Overseas Contingency Operations. Our military, especially those who have been injured in this ongoing fight to secure our freedoms, deserve the right to lead normal lives. Technology has provided many of our wounded warriors with prosthetic arms and legs along with other medical advances, giving these heroes the opportunity to ride a bicycle, run, ski, and pursue many other athletic interests.

There are no limits to the capabilities and determination of our wounded warriors; however, there are monetary limits to their ability to participate in R2R programs. Please help us help R2R and deserving injured veterans seeking to participate in these events.

For more information on R2R and any of these three challenge rides, please e-mail Andrew Pogany at
Christian Military Wives Give an Hour™ Partners with Christian Military Wives

Give an Hour™ is delighted to be working with Christian Military Wives to connect their members with GAH providers, specifically those connected to the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, another Give an Hour™ partner.  Christian Military Wives is a multidenominational, Bible-based ministry of Christian Military Fellowship established to assist military wives and their families through encouragement, aid, and education. Specifically, CMW is organized and operated exclusively for the purposes of providing spiritual, emotional, social, and financial support to military families, including providing educational materials and classes to military personnel and their families on topics such as coping with deployment and reintegrating into society after returning from combat and educating the general public on the emotional, financial, and physical challenges faced by American armed forces personnel and their families.
Correction on Military Culture URL

Our apologies: the URL we gave in our newsletter on Understanding Military Culture for a Web site on military service ribbons and awards is no longer valid. Please make a note of the correct URL: 
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