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 is committed to researching and understanding the common issues connected with suicide; including Post Traumatic Stress and depression, the various circumstances that they stem from, their effects on the individual, and the impact that suicide has on family, friends, and the community as a whole.
As with any issue, suicide prevention begins with raising awareness. This means educating ourselves and the general public, opening up the conversation, learning to become comfortable with it, and encouraging others to do so as well. 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, and whether its through our own programs or through external sources, we can provide services for mental health treatment and empowerment 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.