Mission 22 is a national non-profit veteran organization dedicated to promoting long-term wellness and sustainable growth for veterans battling PTSD.
Chris Cooper, region leader for Mission 22, explained the organization’s mission.
“What we do here in South Dakota is raise awareness for veteran suicide and post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries,” said Cooper. “We let veterans know that they’re not alone. We help them with resources on how to get help and raise money so we can get them through the programs that help them the most.”
Cooper said he’s lost many friends to suicide and even considered taking his own life, but Mission 22 has given him a renewed purpose and passion for helping veterans find their peace again.
“Something I think it’s really important that we do is let those who are struggling know that they’re not alone, that they have people here for them that want to help them and get them through their darkest days.”
According to Cooper, the Midwest region has one of the highest suicide rates per capita in the nation, simply because many veterans are unaware of the resources available to them.
“We offer everything from just someone to talk to, service dogs, horse therapy,” said Cooper. “We have a year-long program called Recovery and Resiliency, and what that entails is they get supplements, gym membership. They get a health coach, they read different books that help them go along the way of their recovery and many other tools that they can use that help them kind of calm themselves are re-energize themselves, refocus themselves when they’re having the hard days.”
Cooper said there are many ways to support veterans in the community.
“It can be just as easy as going to them saying, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’”
For more information about Mission 22, visit their website here.