Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fayetteville Reception

Addressing the Needs of Fayetteville's Military Families

Join us for wine, cheese and thoughtful discussion.

Gates Four Golf & Country Club 4pm in Fayetteville, NC on October 4. 

Mayor Tony Chavonne will provide opening remarks. 

Presenting results of community and announcement of Walmart community grants program.

RSVP to evincent@giveanhour.org for more info. 


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fatigues to Fabulous Press Coverage

Give a Hour's own Jennifer Crane is featured in an article about Fatigues to Fabulous on Military.com. To read the article click the link - http://www.military.com/news/article/female-vets-raise-awareness-with-fashion.html.

GAH President and Founder Awarded Presidential Citation by APA

Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen Awarded Presidential Citation by
American Psychological Association

Dr. Van Dahlen is recognized for her visionary leadership and
her activism to harness the skills and generosity of
mental health professionals to care for this
nation's returning service members and their families 

(From left) Melba J.T. Vasquez, Ph.D., President, American Psychological Association, and Barbara Van
Dahlen, Ph.D., Founder and
President, Give an Hour

In 2005, Dr. Van Dahlen created Give an Hour, a nonprofit network of volunteer mental health professionals who provide free mental health services to U.S. troops, veterans, and their loved ones following deployment to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Born of her concern about the mental health implications of the war in Iraq, and started in her basement office, under her direction Give an Hour has grown into a 50-state network with 5,700 providers. She is frequently sought out by the press for her expertise on the psychological impact of war on troops and their families, and by the White House and top leadership of the Department of Defense as a thoughtful leader on mobilizing public, private, and community support for the nation's heroes. These efforts demonstrate her enduring commitment to doing good in the world, and to bringing the best that psychology has to offer to the needs of the community. In recognition of her many important contributions to psychology, the American Psychological Association presents Dr. Van Dahlen this Presidential Citation.

Provider Spotlight

 Provider Spotlight   
Cynthia Rudick, Ph.D. 

Dr. Cynthia Rudick is a Give an Hour™ provider who works with veterans from all the branches of the services and National Guard in and around Canton, Ohio. A Ph.D. in counselor education with a background in marital and family therapy, she teaches as an adjunct in graduate counseling programs. She is also a professional mediator and arbitrator and raised two stepchildren who are now grown.

Cynthia's experiences working with both Vietnam and Iraq war veterans have enriched her compassion for military clients. "They seldom have worked things through, often because of shame or pride. The young men and women who serve today were raised with the threat of terrorism beginning with September 11. For them the world is filled with people who do not value human life, and that's a fear-filled place to be." Cynthia's grandparents were originally from Poland and Russia, and she lost many in her family in the Holocaust, so she understands the existence of horror.

Her first Give an Hour™ client was a young woman who had been diagnosed as having a mental health issue and was dismissed from Basic Training. The woman had volunteered in hopes of eventually getting money to go to college and because she was desperate for some structure in her life. "The woman was so needy. I told her, of course I will work with you but in return you must work with me." Cynthia, who has run Welfare to Work programs and Mental Health Centers, referred her to all the free services in the Canton community that she could think of as well as the Cleveland Hospital. She hopes the woman availed herself of their help. "I wish the military would assess these kids at the recruitment level," Cynthia says. "My client was not mentally healthy enough for the military. Because of the large National Guard presence, we also need family mental health services around Canton, especially for children and teenagers."

Cynthia's second Give an Hour™ client was a woman whose son, an only child, had recently returned from his second deployment to Iraq and would not talk to her. The son was all the woman lived for. She had worked hard to support the two of them when he was growing up. "She told me, 'I'm a mental case because he is so withdrawn,'" Cynthia says. "I told her that she could come anytime to talk with me. The main problem," Cynthia adds, "is that these soldiers need to share their experiences with others who they can trust and who understand what they have gone through." Cynthia is an enthusiastic supporter of Give an Hour™ and hopes to work with more clients on the organization's behalf. "I understand how critical these services can be," she says. "So many of these young people have been unable to work their emotions through to the light at the end of the tunnel."