New non-profit links service members with mental health professionals

Tuesday, November 16 2010

Honor Vet, a new nonprofit organization, links veterans and active-duty service members with mental health professionals through online social networking and video conferencing, reports the Bergen Record.

The website, HonorVet.org, will have mental health professionals available at any time of the day through video conferencing, instant messaging chat rooms or phone. Users will be able to seek immediate help or schedule an appointment. Also included in the site will be links to experts in a user's selected area.

The organization, founded by Iraq War veterans Jesse Canella and Jim McCain, son of Senator John McCain, should have a website up and running by next spring.

Canella, one of the more than 1.6 million American troops that have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since September 11, 2001, returned home from his tour of duty feeling depressed and disconnected, according to the newspaper. As he suffered, he was also aware that he wasn't alone. He often thought about his comrades who were suffering from conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. In fact, he has a friend who wears sunglasses all the time to avoid looking people in the eyes, as well as other friends who won't leave the house, can't sleep through the night or have suicidal thoughts.

According to the Bergen Record, Honor Vet held its kickoff fundraiser in New York City recently and raised approximately $140,000.