Give an Hour Board of Directors Names Dr. Randy Phelps as New CEO

Randy Phelps, Ph.D., has been named by the Give an Hour Board of Directors as Give an Hour’s (GAH) new Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Phelps became GAH’s first Vice President of Operations in 2018 after serving on the Give an Hour Advisory Board for over a decade and working as a formal consultant to the GAH Board of Directors in 2017.

Dr. Phelps brings with him a wealth of experience. He held various positions with the American Psychological Association (APA) for 25 years, as Senior Advisor for Health Care Financing, Deputy Executive Director for Professional Practice, and as APA’s liaison to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He was previously a practicing clinical psychologist and faculty member at several universities.

Dr. Phelps received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Utah in 1981. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a Distinguished Member of the National Academies of Practice, Clinical Member of the American Family Therapy Academy, and a recipient of APA’s Karl Heiser Award for Advocacy. He has also received an APA Presidential Citation for his national contributions to professional psychology.

Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen founded Give an Hour in 2005 and since that time, the organization has served those in need through a volunteer network of nearly 7,000 licensed mental health professionals in every state of the US who have donated more than 284,000 hours of care, worth more than $28 million. Give an Hour launched the Campaign to Change Direction in 2015 under her leadership as well.

Dr. Phelps will step into his new role effective July 22, 2019 as Dr. Van Dahlen assumes the helm of the White House PREVENTS Task Force to end veteran suicide. The GAH Board of Directors is confident that Dr. Phelps is well-positioned to take over for Dr. Van Dahlen after his years of service to GAH and a 40-year distinguished career in mental health and public service.

“I am honored to have been chosen to lead Give an Hour. We will continue to fulfill our mission by leveraging our partnerships and meeting the mental health care needs of active duty military, veterans, and their families, as well as other at-risk populations,” said Dr. Phelps.  “And we will expand the Campaign to Change Direction, focused on changing the culture of mental health in this country.”

About Give an Hour

Since 2005, the nonprofit organization Give an Hour has provided free mental health services to United States service members, veterans, and their families.  Founded by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, a psychologist in the Washington, D.C., area, Give an Hour’s mission is to develop national networks of skill-based volunteer professionals capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within society. In 2015, Give an Hour expanded efforts to address the mental health needs of other populations including at-risk teens, survivors of gun violence and victims of human trafficking. Through the generosity, compassion, and expertise of Give an Hour’s skilled volunteers, we are able to increase the likelihood that those in need receive the support and care they deserve. Thus far, the network of nearly 7,000 licensed mental health professionals has provided more than approximately 284,000 hours of free counseling, valued at nearly $28 million. To learn more, visit

About the Campaign to Change Direction®

The Campaign to Change Direction, a public health initiative focused on changing the culture of mental health, encourages everyone to care for their mental well-being just as they do their physical well-being. The campaign is led by Give an Hour, a US-based nonprofit organization providing free mental health services to those in need including our military and veteran community. Change Direction addresses common barriers to understanding mental health and raises awareness about Five Signs of Emotional Suffering that may indicate someone is in emotional pain and needs help: change in personality, agitation, withdrawal, a decline in personal care, and hopelessness. Over 600 partner organizations are using their unique skills and opportunities to spread awareness. Organizations and individuals who are interested in learning more or making a pledge can visit

See press release here.

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