A Conversation With Give an Hour President Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen

May 12, 2017

Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour, participated in a Capitol Hill forum, Growing Our Own: Supporting Military Spouses as They Join the Mental Health Profession, focused on the unique challenges facing military members and veterans, and ways to enhance the program's development.

UnitedHealth Group partners with Give an Hour, to ensure our nation's heroes and their families have access to the health care services they deserve.  Recently, Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour, provided important perspective on the work of Give an Hour and its partnership with UnitedHealth Group.


How has the partnership with UnitedHealth Group helped further the mission of Give an Hour?

To ensure all who are suffering emotionally receive the care and support they deserve, we must change the broader culture of mental health in our nation – and ultimately around the world. We all have mental health – just as we all have physical health. It is time to talk about, think about and address our emotional well-being, just as we do our physical well-being. That's why Give an Hour has partnered with UnitedHealth Group to expand and maintain our network, and to build national partnerships that allow us to better reach those we serve. In 2015, we launched the Campaign to Change Direction to change the culture of mental health. UnitedHealth Group has been and will continue to be an incredibly important partner as we move forward to tackle this cultural issue.


What impact have UnitedHealth Group employee volunteers had on your organization?

We couldn't do the work we do, providing free mental health care to those who serve and their families, without the financial – and organizational support – we receive from partners like UnitedHealth Group and their employees. Over the years, UnitedHealth Group employees have generously donated their time and dollars to help us ensure that all in need receive the care and support they deserve.

Through service projects across the country, UnitedHealth Group employees join us in efforts to engage and support veterans in our communities. It is so important for those we serve to know our partners, our organization and our nation supports them!   


What does the future hold for Give an Hour?

As we look ahead to the future, we are finding new ways to expand our model of delivering care to at-risk populations. While we will always provide free mental health care to our service members, our veterans and their families, we are now expanding to provide free care to at-risk youth, victims of human trafficking and survivors of violence.  Our goal is for every mental health professional in our country to give one hour a week of their time to serve populations in need in their communities. Imagine the good work we can do together by harnessing the skills and generosity of our mental health community!

Learn more about UnitedHealth Group's partnership with Give an Hour.