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Donations Solicited: One Hour for ID Vets

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Monday, November 3, 2008   

Support our troops, one hour at a time. Idaho mental health professionals are doing just that in their offices and by phone, donating an hour a week to soldiers, veterans and their families.

The idea came from Give an Hour, founded in 2005 by Barbara Romberg, a psychologist in the Washington, D.C., area.

Romberg explains that some soldiers and veterans are at risk of substance abuse if they don't get help understanding how their brains process information and experiences. Learning that can take some people years.

"They don't know what's going on, they don't understand, they don't feel like themselves, it's uncomfortable, it's scary. They'll find things that they can to use to cope."

The lack of mental health assistance for veterans has been well documented, according to Romberg. Although the Veterans Health Administration has made improvements, she says care can still be scarce, especially in rural areas.

Families are encouraged to ask for help, too, Romberg adds.

"Families may need help coping with the stress and the strain and the anxiety when their loved one is deployed, or with difficulties when that person comes home and the re-integration."

She says the "Give an Hour" network is designed to catch those who fall through the cracks because of money, paperwork issues, or location. Those looking for help can go to
www.giveanhour.org.


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