North Texas non-profit expands mission from veterans to include first responders

A non-profit first formed by a veteran to help other vets is now expanding its mission.

22KILL has a new name, One Tribe Foundation, and is looking to help first responders as well as vets.

22KILL began as a way to draw attention to the number of veterans who die each day from suicide and to help them with their mental health issues.

"A wise leader once told me ride the dragon of change and that’s what we're doing," said Jacob Schick, founder, One Tribe Foundation. "The one thing that is the common denominator for everyone on this planet is they understand pain and suffering and trauma and tragedy."

The goal is to help first responders and their families deal with depression, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome and suicide. The past year and a half of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified the challenges.

The Fort Worth Police Association turned to the foundation for help.

"We've had multiple Fort Worth police officers take their own lives. We've had family members of fort worth police officers," said Manny Ramirez, FWPA president.

The association is paying for officers and family who want counseling.

"We see an increase in officers that are using the services and we see an increase in officers that are benefiting from the services [and] also their families," Ramirez said.

The Fort Worth Fire Department is also working with One Tribe to keep firefighters in good physical and mental health. 

 "What we've been working on is changing the conversation from behavioral health and mental wellness to resiliency," said FWFD Chief Jim Davis. "How are they doing with sleep, with fatigue and with substance use? How’s their stress level, you know, from a post-traumatic event stress approach." 

Schick hopes to take One Tribe Foundation nationwide.

"We're riding the hell out of that dragon and we're gonna do it all the way to victory," he said.