University to Host Give an Hour Town Hall Meeting Oct. 29
Give an Hour, a national, nonprofit organization with a mission to provide free and confidential mental health services to military members, veterans and their families, is hosting a town hall meeting at Old Dominion on Tuesday, Oct. 29.
The meeting, at 5:30 p.m. in the Big Blue Room of the Ted Constant Convocation Center, will allow community leaders, military-focused community organizations, members of the ODU community and others in the community concerned about the mental health well-being of American military members and their families to find out about Give an Hour, and see how they might help.
Give an Hour and the American Psychiatric Foundation will host the meeting, the final stage of Give an Hour's Community Blueprint project.
Barbara Van Dahlen, president and founder of Give an Hour, will lead the town hall. Among the panelists will be Kathleen Levingston, director of military center connections at ODU. A crowd of about 200 is expected.
A goal of the town hall meeting is to produce information that can be used by other stakeholders to advance the goals of Give an Hour outlined in the Community Blueprint.
Give an Hour has a network of more than 7,000 licensed mental health providers who donate their time to support the organization's mission. To date, they have donated more than 90,000 hours of free counseling to veterans and active-duty military members and their families.
More than 2.6 million U.S. troops have been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other overseas missions since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In addition to the physical injuries sustained as part of the missions, countless servicemen and women are experiencing mental health conditions directly related to their deployment.
Because of the stigma associated with mental health issues, and because of fear of jeopardizing their careers, returning combat veterans who suffer from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress often avoid mental health treatment services offered by the military. By providing completely separate services, Give an Hour offers an essential option for men and women who might otherwise not seek mental health care.
For more information about Give an Hour, see: www.giveanhour.org.
For information about the Oct. 29 town hall at ODU, contact Sally Charney, director of special projects and partnerships with Give an Hour, at email@example.com.