As an Air Force veteran, I feel a strong pull to continue to serve my comrades – past, present, and future.
When I heard about Give an Hour, I knew I had to get involved.
In the fall, I will begin the 3rd year of my doctoral program in clinical psychology. As I dive deeper into my studies and research of the military community, I am confronted with facts about the great divide between the military community and the civilian community. A recent study by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the RAND Corporation found there was a lack of understanding among community providers about military culture and resources available for veterans, despite the fact that one in six Americans is either a servicemember, veteran, or military dependent. Knowing that veterans have higher rates of mental health issues and are at a higher suicide risk than civilians makes it my passion to work to bridge this divide.
I wanted to get involved with Give an Hour because I believe in its mission – to spread awareness about the psychological needs of the military community and to provide information and professional training to providers and future providers so the military community can get the support it needs. As a student liaison, I have taken this mission to my university by requesting the inclusion of the military community as part of our curriculum and class discussions. I have also arranged for military providers to come speak at our school, providing students insight into what it is like to work with the military community. As the chair for our student government organization, I have advocated for projects to help veterans in the local community. I am very grateful for my military training, and I wish to contribute back to the military by supporting the servicemembers, veterans, and their families. Give an Hour has given me the opportunity to do so.
I plan to continue my work in spreading the word about the services that Give an Hour provides and about the mental health needs of the military community.