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Lilly fund veterans' support network

Eli Lilly & Co has revealed that it is giving a $1m grant to a support network for US soldiers returning home from conflicts in the Middle East.

Eli Lilly & Co has revealed that it is giving a $1m grant to a support network for US soldiers returning home from conflicts in the Middle East.

The programme being sponsored by Lilly is a joint operation between the American Psychiatric Foundation (APF) and US charity, Give an Hour (GAH), which maintains a nation wide infrastructure of volunteer mental health workers. It offers vital support for US soldiers coming back from war-torn regions in Afghanistan and Iraq. News of this grant comes one week before Memorial Day, a commemorative event for America's veterans.

Lilly said that it is fully committed to honouring the sacrifices laid down by US troops and feels privileged to be able to financially support the network.

"This grant will allow us to get out the message that help is available," said Dr Barbara Romberg, founder and president of GAH, who explained the network hopes to ensure people are better informed about the mental health problems faced by soldiers. "We want to normalise what our military personnel and their families are experiencing and support the sacrifices that they are making by providing critical mental health support at no cost."

The APF says that continued funding will go towards recruiting 10 per cent of America's 400,000 mental health professionals to work as volunteers on call to assist US forces personnel and their families. 

"This all-volunteer effort provides badly needed support to help our veterans," said US Representative Steve Buyer, ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "I applaud the hard work of GAH, the AFP and the Lilly foundation."

Details of Lilly's grant were announced at the Reserve Officers Association (ROA) building on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.

21st May 2008

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