“My daddy’s in Iraq, but he’s not dead yet.”
— 5-year-old son of a US Marine
Roughly 1.7 million Americans have been deployed to Iraq so far. An estimated 320,000 US military have received a traumatic brain injury in the Iraq war. Another 300,000 suffer from major depression or post traumatic stress disorder. The VA is not equipped to handle the mental health needs of all returning veterans and their families. What can we do?
The Give An Hour organization has challenged mental health professionals to donate 1 hour of their time/week to serve the needs of the military. If only 1 in 10 providers joined the program, there would be enough hours to cover the unmet needs.
I met with Dr. Barbara Romberg today to discuss her plans for the program. She envisions an in-office, phone, and online platform for Give An Hour. I sure hope that I can help out with the online platform one day.
If you’re a mental health professional, please consider joining the Give An Hour initiative. Our troops risked their lives for us, and others have sustained life-long injuries – some visible, some invisible.
And there are little boys out there, wondering if this is the day their daddy will die.
Let’s consider how we can be of comfort to those who are suffering on this Veterans Day.