FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13th, 2018
Contact: John Hoellwarth
National Communications Director
AMVETS (American Veterans)
AMVETS National Headquarters, July 13, 2018 – AMVETS has recently joined efforts with Objective Zero, a nonprofit organization that anonymously connects veterans to suicide prevention resources and a community of mentors, counselors, and veterans through a mobile application.
The partnership follows the release of a June 18 Department of Veterans Affairs report that analyzed veteran suicide data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. AMVETS launched its HEAL Program in March 2018 for the purpose of connecting veterans to the appropriate level and type of healthcare they need, which includes mental health services in many cases.
“We strive to help heal the whole veteran, whether it involves a broken bone, a diabetic condition, or a need for cancer treatment,” said AMVETS Chief Medical Executive Lana McKenzie. “But the invisible conditions such as depression, TBI, and PTSD, are often overlooked and become risk factors for suicide. We want to close the gaps in understanding and awareness by adding a new tool to our holistic approach.”
Through the mobile application, users can sign up and complete a brief training session to become Objective Zero “Ambassadors” who can receive calls, texts, and video chats from veterans in need of support. Veterans are also given easy access to resources, such as the AMVETS HEAL Program, the National Center for PTSD, and Make the Connection through the app. The Objective Zero app was created in early 2017 and released later that year. It can be downloaded onto both Apple and Android devices through Apple Store and Google Play.
“The name of our app and organization says it all. The objective is not just to reduce veteran suicide; rather, it is to get the number of veteran suicides to zero,” saidBlake Bassett, Army Reservist and co-founder of Objective Zero. “We look forward to working with the AMVETS Heal Program to do all we can collectively to reach that objective.”
AMVETS Heal Program
AMVETS employs a team of clinical experts with experience in eliminating barriers to access in healthcare for veterans nationwide. The HEAL approach encompasses all necessary steps the team will take to intervene directly on behalf of veterans, service members, families, and caregivers to reduce veteran suicide, unemployment, homelessness, and hopelessness as it relates to mental and physical wellness. Those who need help can call the HEAL Helpline toll free at: 1-833-VET-HEAL (838-4325). Learn more at: www.AMVETS.org/vet-heal
About Objective Zero
The Objective Zero Foundation is dedicated to preventing veteran and military suicide through a groundbreaking mobile application that instantly and anonymously connects veterans and service members to a nationwide network of trained suicide prevention Ambassadors and mental health and wellness resources. Learn more about the Objective Zero App and how to become a user or Ambassador at: www.objectivezero.org.
AMVETS is the nation’s most inclusive Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization. It is open to and fights for all veterans who served honorably, including reservists & guardsmen. AMVETS has been a nonpartisan advocate for veterans and their families for more than 70 years. amvets.org