October brought new beginnings for Give an Hour with the launch of our Wellness Ambassador program and also gave us time to reflect on the five years since the mass shooting at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. Whether it’s a new program or groups we’ve worked with for some time, Give an Hour’s constant is our commitment to raising awareness of and resources for mental health and emotional wellness for individuals and communities across the U.S.
You already are aware of (at least some of) our services or you wouldn’t be reading this email … Will you help us by committing to spreading the word about Give an Hour? It could be in your local church, fitness group or even your workplace. Even if you just forward this email to one person. You never know when someone will be in need and we want to make sure they have the resources they need, when they need them.
New Grant Year Brings New Goals for Mental Health in the Nation’s Capital
Enhancing the District’s Response to Trauma is working to expand access to trauma-informed mental health services in the Washington, D.C., area for both victims and offenders who find themselves in the justice system.
This program, a partnership between Give an Hour and the District of Columbia Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants, supports the city’s efforts to disrupt the cycle of trauma and violence by promoting healing and reducing revictimization.
In the coming year, the EDRT program plans to:
- Continue offering free trauma-informed mental health counseling for individuals
- Increase the number of Give an Hour providers and provide them no-cost educational programming
- Expand available resources, including psychoeducational tools and support groups
Since the program’s inception in 2019, EDRT provided free trauma-informed mental health counseling to more than 50 people through the volunteer efforts of 28 licensed mental health professionals in the district’s area. According to the DC Health Matters Collaborative, there are only 514 mental health providers for every 100,000 people in the district.
If you are a licensed mental health professional in the Washington, D.C., area and would like to help, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Partner in Healing, Give an Hour Offers Support at 5-Year Remembrance of Route 91 Mass Shooting
Since the tragic massacre at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas, Give an Hour’s Route 91 Heals team has had boots on the ground for survivors and families in Southern California. Tragedy knows no boundaries.
In the weeks and months leading up to the October 1 remembrance activities in Las Vegas, the team worked to prepare anyone and everyone who needed a safe space to remember, grieve and heal. They traveled to Las Vegas with partners from both the Ventura and San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Offices, along with four facility support dogs for a three-day weekend to offer the kind of support survivors might need from a trusted friend who understands exactly what they’re going through because they were there.
Over the past few years, much of the work and support our Route 91 Heals team provided was virtual so they were excited to connect – in-person – with survivors and family members who they’ve only ever met via Zoom. Peer supporters had the opportunity to finally meet their peers and peer supporters also were able to meet in person to support each other. For others, it was the first time they’ve visited Las Vegas since the incident.
Michael Morrisette, Give an Hour’s outreach coordinator for the Route 91 Heals team, said working alongside partners with the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center and other county advocates as representatives of hope was very powerful.
According to Molly Maurer, a survivor of the festival shooting and Give an Hour’s lead peer supporter, a highlight of the weekend was learning from survivors about their healing journey and the impact made by Give an Hour. Molly also said it was great to connect with and support other advocates throughout the weekend.
First Interactive Provider Forum on the Books
Give an Hour is hosting its first virtual, provider social forum open to all network providers.
WHO: All GAH Network Providers
WHAT: Provider Social Forum
WHEN: Thursday, October 20 at 1 p.m.
During the forum, topics will include:
- What’s happening with Give an Hour
- Provide feedback and discuss your experience as a Give an Hour provider
- Mindfulness activities
- Connect with other mental health professionals from across the U.S.
- Q & A session
IN THE NEWS
- Bakersfield Californian: Remembrance events in Bakersfield, Las Vegas to honor victims of Route 91 mass shooting
- Univision Bakersfield: Route 91 Harvest, a cinco años del tiroteo masivo en Las Vegas, Bakersfield recuerda a las víctimas
IN OTHER NEWS …
Give an Hour Hires New Training Director
Please meet Ebony Davis! Ebony is Give an Hour’s new director of customized training, mental health and well-being and is responsible for the development of our workshops and trainings.
Ebony earned a master’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her son and extended family.