Gov. Beebe touts mental health program for vets

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Gov. Mike Beebe has gotten behind a program that matches up veterans with mental health professionals who donate their time and help soldiers make the transition from the combat to home life.

The Give an Hour program, founded by Maryland psychologist Barbara Van Dahlen, encourages mental health professionals to donate an hour a week. The organization will link veterans with providers. Dahlen was on hand with Beebe on Wednesday to announce an effort to build the program in Arkansas.

Dahlen said the issue isn't mental illness, but veterans who have normal reactions to the intense experience of combat. She said battle can produce an emotional overload and that counseling can help veterans regain control.

The group has more than 5,000 providers donating time nationwide.

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