This daring mission attracted me to Mission 22 when I first heard about the group.
According to News, more veterans die by suicide each year than…
More veterans die by suicide each year than the total of U.S. military deaths in the entire Iraq war and Afghanistan war combined!
Mission 22 started when a friend that co-founder Magnus Johnson served with took his own life. Magnus learned that 22 veterans a day were taking their own lives and this shocked him into action. His friend and fellow former Green Beret Mike Kissel joined with him to found Mission 22. They began with a large-scale public art project in Nashville, Indiana as a way for veterans and civilians to work together to raise awareness of veteran suicides.
Then they asked themselves the question: When there is a national monument honoring those who died in virtually every war fought for our country, why couldn’t there be a monument to those veterans who’ve lost the fight after coming home by taking their own lives?
So was born the moving large scale monument shown in the photograph above. Mission 22 states: “We honored 20 veterans who lost their lives here at home after serving our country abroad.”
Their mission has grown to include multiple ways for veterans, their families and communities to find help. Most dramatic to me would be the cutting edge healing programs which are giving remarkable results. Before we look at the healing programs in more detail, let us take a look at the national problem.
Veteran and Civilian Suicides
Veterans end their own lives in a rate much higher than civilians. Among men, the risk for suicide in 2014 was 19% greater for Veterans compared with U.S. civilian adult men. And for women, the risk for suicide in 2014 was 250% greater among freshman than U.S. civilian adult ladies!
The Veterans Administration is putting more resources into trying to stop suicides, with an enlarged suicide hotline and increased mental health counseling. Still millions of Veterans either don’t visit a VA facility or are not adequately helped when they do. Thus the need for Mission 22 and affectionate groups like them.
The rate of Veteran suicides is greatest among the youngest Veterans ages 18 – 29. This is true for both male and female Veterans. However, the total number of Veteran suicides is still much larger among older Veterans, simply because there are so many more older than younger Veterans. So help is needed among all Veterans age classes.
Mission 22 Treatment Programs
Mission 22 now has two treatment programs that focus on Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress. The goal is not to medicate and conceal the problems our veterans are facing but to heal them. Mission 22 website
According to Mission 22: “More than 350 Veterans have reclaimed their lives” by using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) in conjunction with other modalities such as nourishment and medical massage.
HBOT treatment enhances the body’s own healing process. People inhale 100% oxygen in a entire body room, where the oxygen level and atmospheric pressure can be controlled for safety. HBOT has been helpful as a post-concussion remedy for football players and other athletes. The similarity with brain injuries suffered by Veterans led to the Mission 22 program.
The FDA has approved HBOT for a variety of conditions, although not yet for traumatic brain injury. But, Mission 22 has seen such good results that the team covers the cost for Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress or brain injury to experience the HBOT treatment program.
A clinical study published in the Journal of Neurotrauma in 2012 demonstrated significant benefits of HBOT for both physical and emotional issues in a group of 16 Veterans with brain injuries. * HBOT is known to aid by reducing inflammation and increasing blood circulation to the brain, but there’s still much more to learn about how it works.
Full Spectrum Health Center
Another cutting edge program Mission 22 uses entails bringing balance back to the body, emotions and mind. Working together with the Full Spectrum Health Center in Chicago, Veterans can be treated at home where they live in the country. According to advanced and evaluation blood testing, an individual treatment plan is developed for each Veteran to heal imbalances in their lives and bodies.
The goal of the Full Spectrum Health Center is powerful. The practice states: “Full Spectrum Health Center for Endobiogenic medication (FSH) uses a new approach to heal soldiers and veterans from the inside out.”
“Our strategy is to understand who you are and why you suffer with specific symptoms. Using the most sophisticated type of personalized medicine: Endobiogeny, our objective is to heal you, your relationships with yourself, your family, and your community. Our approach relies on balancing and optimizing the four keys to wellness: Body (hormones, nerves, brain, digestion), Mind (spirituality: a trip to inner wholeness), Diet (nutrition for your body’s needs), Lifestyle (stress reduction, sleep, exercise).”
The Full Spectrum Health program comprises plant-based therapies, pharmaceuticals if needed temporarily to help patients stabilize, self-integration work to get more control of thoughts, feelings and actions, and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy.
Mission 22 was founded by Veterans to reduce the tragedy of Veteran suicides. They started with an emphasis on education and now coordinate their efforts with numerous groups around the country.
Mission 22 helps cover the cost for these two therapeutic programs that help Veterans with post traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury rebuild their lives, so they are accepting donations to finance Veterans who want to go through both of these programs.