Founder & President
Give an Hour
Barbara Van Dahlen, named to TIME magazine’s 2012 list of the 100 most influential people in the world, is the founder and president of Give an Hour. A licensed clinical psychologist who has been practicing in the Washington, D.C., area for 20 years, she specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of children. Dr. Van Dahlen has spent her career interacting with and coordinating services within large systems, including school districts and mental health clinics. In addition, for many years, she served as an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University, where she trained and supervised developing clinicians. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland in 1991.
Concerned about the mental health implications of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Dr. Van Dahlen founded Give an Hour in 2005. The organization has created a national network of mental health professionals who are providing free services to U.S. troops, veterans, their loved ones, and their communities. Currently, the network has over 6,100 providers, who have collectively given nearly $5 million worth of services.
Dr. Van Dahlen and Give an Hour have received numerous awards. In addition to her selection in the 2012 TIME 100, in April 2012 Give an Hour was chosen as one of the five winners of the White House’s Joining Forces Community Challenge, sponsored by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. Dr. Van Dahlen received a citation as one of Woman’s Day magazine’s 50 Women Who Are Changing the World, the Maryland Governor’s Volunteer Service Award, the WJLA 2010 Working Woman of the Year, and the American Psychiatric Association’s 2009 Rosalee Weiss Distinguished Public Service award. In 2010 she was selected as a featured speaker at the annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy.
She has become a notable source and expert on the psychological impact of war on troops and families and a thought leader in mobilizing civilian constituencies in support of active duty service members, veterans, and their families. She has been interviewed by major media outlets such as AP, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, USA Today, CNN, NPR, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Newshour, and such military media outlets as Stars & Stripes, AUSA Magazine, and the Pentagon Channel.