March 8 2015 - When Barbara Van Dahlen was brainstorming ways to address veterans’ mental-health needs 10 years ago, she was inspired by Craigslist and the way the site made it easy for buyers to find sellers.
“I thought — I should be able to use technology to connect mental-health professionals all over the country with veterans and their families,” said Van Dahlen, a licensed clinical psychologist and president of nonprofit group Give an Hour. The organization gives troops and their families access to free mental-health services through video sessions with a network of volunteers.
Give an Hour was founded in 2005 — when few had heard of “telehealth” and the iPhone did not exist yet.
Fast forward to 2015: The charity now teams up regularly with technology firms to help veterans. It has worked with the likes of Google to reach more veterans through a series of video chats. It paired with Booz Allen Hamilton to analyze program data to better deliver services. And it is exploring a partnership with Doctor on Demand, an app that gives users 15-minute appointments with doctors, virtually.
Technology is critical in overcoming the stigma around mental health issues, said Van Dahlen, who launched a national campaign to raise awareness about the topic in Washington last week. read more>>>