History of 22KILL:
In 2012, the Veterans’ Administration (VA) released a Suicide Data Report that found an average of 22 veterans die by suicide everyday. The 22KILL initiative started in 2013, at first just as a social media movement to raise awareness, and later became an official 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. 22KILL has committed to researching and understanding the dynamics around suicide; including mental health issues such as Post Traumatic Stress and depression, their effects on the individual, and the impact that suicide has on family, friends, and the community as a whole.
The solution begins with awareness. Suicide prevention begins with making the general public aware of the problem, and educating them on it and its causes. By doing this, we’ll be able to identify the often unmentioned or unaddressed issues that can lead someone to thoughts of suicide, and confront those issues as they come, rather than letting them accumulate into something much worse.
The next step is empowerment. One of the biggest challenges veterans face is finding a sense of purpose after service. 22KILL has built a vast network of organizations and resources for veterans across the country, providing services for mental health treatment and empowerment programs to help veterans find that sense of purpose. The other side of this is engagement. Often times veterans will come to realize that all they really needed was the brotherhood and camaraderie that they’ve been missing ever since leaving the military. The 22KILL “Tribe” allows veterans to connect with like-minded individuals and gives them the opportunity to get involved with community events and projects, and be a part of something great.