This daring mission attracted me to Mission 22 when I first heard about the group.
More specialists die by suicide each year than…
More specialists die by suicide each year than the total of U.S. military deaths in the total Iraq war and Afghanistan war combined! It’s unacceptable.
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 lives and this shocked him into action. His friend and fellow former Green Beret Mike Kissel joined with him to found Mission 22. They started with a large-scale public art project in Nashville, Indiana in order for veterans and civilians to work together to raise awareness of veteran suicides.
A National Monument
Then they asked themselves the question: If there’s 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 have 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 says: “We honored 20 veterans who lost their lives here at home after serving our country abroad.”
Their mission has grown to include many ways for veterans, their families and communities to locate help. Most dramatic to me would be the cutting edge healing programs which are giving outstanding results. Before we look at the healing programs in more detail, let’s 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 mature men. And for women, the risk for suicide in 2014 was 250% higher among Veterans than U.S. civilian mature ladies!
The Veterans Administration is putting more resources into trying to stop suicides, with an enlarged suicide hotline and enhanced mental health counseling. Still countless Veterans either do not go to a VA facility or aren’t adequately helped when they perform. Thus the demand for Mission 22 and caring groups like them.
The rate of Veteran suicides is greatest among the youngest Veterans ages 18 – 29. However, the complete number of Veteran suicides remains much larger among elderly Veterans, simply because there are so many more older than younger Veterans. So help is needed among all Veterans age groups.
Mission 22 Treatment Programs
Mission 22 currently has two treatment programs that focus on Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress. The goal isn’t to medicate and conceal the problems that our veterans are facing but to cure them. Mission 22 site
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
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 security. 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 an assortment of conditions, although not yet for traumatic brain injury. But, Mission 22 has seen such great results that the group covers the cost for Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress or brain injury to go through the HBOT therapy program.
A clinical study published in the Journal of Neurotrauma in 2012 demonstrated significant advantages of HBOT for both physical and psychological issues in a group of 16 Veterans with brain injuries. * HBOT is known to aid by decreasing inflammation and increasing blood circulation to the brain, but there is still much more to learn about how it works.
Full Spectrum Health Center
The other 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 reside in the country. Based on advanced and evaluation blood testing, an individual treatment plan is developed for each Veteran to heal imbalances in their bodies and lives.
The goal of the Full Spectrum Health Center is strong. The clinic states: “Full Spectrum Health Center for Endobiogenic medicine (FSH) utilizes a new approach to heal soldiers and veterans from the inside out.”
“Our strategy is to understand who you are and why you suffer from specific symptoms. Utilizing the most sophisticated type of personalized medicine: Endobiogeny, our objective is to heal you, your relationships with yourself, your loved ones, and your community. Our approach is based on balancing and optimizing the four keys to wellness: Body (hormones, nerves, brain, digestion), Mind (spirituality: a journey to inner wholeness), Diet (nutrition for your body’s needs), Lifestyle (stress reduction, sleep, exercise).”
The Full Spectrum Health program includes plant-based therapies, pharmaceuticals if needed temporarily to assist patients stabilize, self-integration work to gain more control of thoughts, feelings and actions, and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy.
Mission 22 was founded by Veterans to decrease the tragedy of Veteran suicides. They started with an emphasis on education and coordinate their efforts with multiple groups across the nation.
Mission 22 helps cover the cost for these two healing programs that assist Veterans with post traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury rebuild their lives, so they are accepting donations to fund Veterans who wish to go through both of these programs.