Booz Allen Hamilton, Give an Hour Work to Promote Emotional Wellness in Corporate America

Mar 1, 2017 4:30 PM ET
Press Release

March 1, 2017 /3BL Media/ - According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an estimated 44 million Americans—about one in five adults— experience a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Today Booz Allen Hamilton announced an executive-level expansion of its ongoing collaboration with not-for-profit and community partner Give an Hour, which provides free mental health services to military members, veterans, and their families.

Beginning March 1, Booz Allen Executive Vice President Joseph (Joe) Sifer will serve for six months as Visiting Corporate Fellow at Give an Hour, supporting its Campaign to Change Direction—an initiative that aims to “change the culture in America about mental health, mental illness, and wellness.” Sifer, who most recently led a successful transformation of Booz Allen’s engineering and science professional services business, will provide his services to the not-for-profit pro bono, as part of Booz Allen’s commitment to promote improved mental health and emotional wellness in the workplace. In partnership with Give an Hour, Sifer will build a coalition among leading corporations, engage in speaking engagements and media outreach, develop models and materials for use by companies, and author articles to create enduring intellectual capital. 

Sifer has been a leader at Booz Allen in the firm’s effort to integrate emotional health into the firm’s wellness program, PowerUp, and will now lead an effort to expand the reach of the Campaign to Change Direction across corporate America. He has spoken openly about his own journey to emotional wellness and the opportunities that becoming emotionally fit have provided him in his life and career (see the Campaign video at http://www.changedirection.org/booz-allen-hamilton-takes-on-mental-health-through-emotional-fitness/ .)

“We are honored – and excited - that Joe Sifer will be joining Give an Hour for a six-month appointment as our first Visiting Corporate Fellow. We are also extremely grateful to Booz Allen Hamilton for their ongoing support of our efforts and for making this engagement possible,” said Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, Founder and President of Give an Hour, the backbone organization behind the Campaign to Change Direction. “We see the creation of this fellowship – and Joe Sifer’s appointment in particular – as a key step in bringing the critical message of the Campaign to Change Direction to the corporate sector. By encouraging everyone in the company – from the CEO to the summer intern – to pay attention to and care for their emotional well-being we will build a healthier and more productive workforce. We are proud to partner with Joe and Booz Allen on this worthy and achievable goal.”

“Joe Sifer’s efforts were central to Booz Allen’s embrace of emotional wellness as a priority for our people, and we are delighted that this fellowship gives him an opportunity to share his passion about this issue for the greater benefit of corporate America,” said Horacio Rozanski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Booz Allen Hamilton. “We look forward to hearing about and applying the enhanced approaches that he, Dr. Van Dahlen, and the team develop during his time with Give an Hour.”

Sifer said, “Workforce mental illness and struggles with emotional health are demoralizing to employees and they cost corporate America many hundreds of billions of dollars a year. When corporate leaders prioritize mental health along with physical health in our wellness, diversity, and inclusion initiatives, we can do an enormous amount to change the culture of absenteeism, and ‘presenteeism’—working while emotionally impaired. Together we can make great strides to change corporate culture around mental wellness.”

Take the pledge to know the Five Signs of emotional suffering and change the culture surrounding mental health, mental illness, and wellness at http://www.changedirection.org/make-a-pledge/partner-pledge/.

Or learn more at ChangeDirection.org.

About Booz Allen Hamilton

Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH) has been at the forefront of strategy and technology for more than 100 years. Today, the firm provides management and technology consulting and engineering services to leading Fortune 500 corporations, governments, and not-for-profits across the globe. Booz Allen partners with public and private sector clients to solve their most difficult challenges through a combination of consulting, analytics, mission operations, technology, systems delivery, cybersecurity, engineering, and innovation expertise.

With international headquarters in McLean, Virginia, the firm employs more than 23,000 people globally, and had revenue of $5.41 billion for the 12 months ended March 31, 2016. To learn more, visit BoozAllen.com.

About Give an Hour

Give an Hour, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) providing free mental health services to military members, veterans, and their families, was founded in September 2005 by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, a psychologist in the Washington, D.C., area. Give an Hour has been instrumental in the development of the community-based approach to addressing the challenges that face our nation's military community, having created a successful model for harnessing skill-based volunteers eager to offer their services. Thus far, the network of nearly 7,000 licensed mental health professionals has provided more than 217,000 hours valued at nearly $22M of care and support to those in need. To learn more, visit www.giveanhour.org or https://connected.giveanhour.org.

About the Campaign to Change Direction

The Campaign to Change Direction, a national initiative to change the culture of mental health in America, encourages Americans to care for their mental well-being just as they do their physical well-being. The campaign is led by Give an Hour, a national nonprofit organization providing free mental health services to the military and veteran community. Change Direction addresses common barriers to understanding mental health and raises awareness about Five Signs that may indicate someone is suffering emotionally and needs help: change in personality, agitation, withdrawal, decline in personal care, and hopelessness. Over 390 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 www.changedirection.org.