Platoon 22 has beeb incredibly generous in partnering with the Mental Health Association. We were happy to have a few minutes of Director of Operations, Leigh Rose’s time to learn more about their organization.
- I’m Leigh with Platoon 22 and Mental Health Matters because …
To me – without mental health, we lose people we love. Mental Health carries along with it a stigma. This should not be true. Mental Health should be looked at no differently than cancer, heart disease, etc. So, mental health is important, because those suffering from mental health issues need and deserve help just as much as someone with a physical ailment.
- Your organization has an interesting name and one that, I think, prompts a conversation about it. Can you share with us it’s meaning?
Platoon 22 was born as “22 Needs A Face,” to symbolize the need for awareness to the fact that 22 United States veterans were committing suicide each and every day. We wanted to literally bring a face to those 22 names, with the hopes that change would accompany the awareness. However, the Board later voted to change our name to Platoon 22 as it connects with people immediately, without explanation. Platoon is most often associated with the military. “22” obviously represents the men & women on whose behalf we fight each day.
- Tell us about Platoon 22:
Well, I have a ton to say. There is a national epidemic plaguing our Veterans. Therefore, our organizations mission is to solve the problem. We plan on taking this enormous task head on and won’t stop until we’ve succeeded. Our mission includes funding necessary research and developing multifaceted treatment programs. Our research is designed to better understand all aspects of Veteran suicide to include; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and its impact on the Veteran community, depression, work and home-related factors as well as health care related influences. This research is critical so that we can better understand the paths that lead to Veteran suicide while identifying a more effective way to diagnosis and treat those who need it. It is critical to have valid data, so we are partnering with third party research organizations to ensure that our research is conducted in a way that meets professional standards. This also ensures an objective research portfolio that is free from any biases.
Our president, James Roberts, who was also nominated for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year because of his charitable work, led us in this direction of taking the same approach to Veteran suicide and PTSD as many cancer organizations have taken with cancer. Every cancer is unique and carries with it its own set of characteristics and we intend to address them all. We understand that every person is unique and needs customized treatments, which is why we intend to work with the most forward thinking organizations in the country, to create a suite of comprehensive treatment options for every Veteran.
- We appreciate the support that Platoon 22 has shown us! Can you tell us how our partnership strengthens our community?
Partnerships like ours are the backbone of our country. When organizations can come together to understand what initiatives the other is working on, similarities and differences can be identified. Once identified, we can then work to determine ways of supporting one another and complimenting each other’s work. Our goals are very similar, as MHA also strives to build a strong foundation of emotional wellness by securing vulnerable families and facing crises together. Together, we can work to find answers for our veterans and civilians alike suffering from mental health issues.
- Because of the efforts of organizations like yours, we are learning more and more about PTSD all the time with the goal of decreasing veteran suicide. What steps are being taken to achieve that goal?
- Continuing to raise awareness.Most civilians are still floored to learn that 20 veterans commit suicide every day.
- Funding research portfolio aimed at:
- Understanding why Veterans are committing suicide at such an astounding rate
- Understand how Veterans are diagnosed with PTSd
- Understand the existing treatment options for Veterans mental health needs
- What’s working, what isn’t
- Designing programs for Veterans to accomplish the following:
- Improve mental health care screening accessibility for Veterans
- Provide proactive treatment options for our veterans
- Connect our veterans with the resources they need in an efficient manner
- If there was one thing you would want someone living with PTSD to know, what would that be?
There is hope. Your family, your friends, your community cares. We care.
- What can everyone who is reading this do to get involved?
Donate – research costs money – it also leads to groundbreaking findings eventually.
Volunteer – we host 3 main events per year – we’d love to get you signed up be a part of one or more of them!
Rally in the Valley
Gala (coming March-April 2018)
Take it Personally – Veterans make up a very small part of our society. They need civilians to take it just as personally.
- How can people get more information about you?
Platoon 22 on Facebook