DALLAS - A non-profit that typically provides support to military veterans is expanding their services to help frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
22Kill stands for the average number of veterans and active service members who die by suicide each day.
The organization provides counseling to veterans, first responders, and their families, but is now expanding their reach to help frontline healthcare workers.
“We're here for you and please reach out,” 22Kill CEO Tempa Sherrill said.
For the past four years, 22Kill has been trying to prevent suicide among military members and veterans by providing them and their families with mental healthcare tools like counseling services.
“We initially started in response to the veteran suicide tactics that were staggering in 2012, and over the years, we've evolved to become a mental healthcare organization that provides tools for the men and women who really, you know, put their selves, their lives, and their mental health on the line,” Sara Compton explained.
But with COVID-19 disrupting nearly every aspect of everyday life, the organization saw another way to help by offering in-person and virtual counseling services to frontline healthcare workers.
“All the people in the healthcare field experiencing everyday trauma and seeing people die and caring for people that they aren't able to save, and that’s something hard that they're going through,” Compton said.
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The organization is encouraging people to help by raising donations through a 22-push up challenge.
“Do 22 push ups and donate, if they can, you know, $22. Our corporate donors will match that amount. And that will allow us to then provide clinical services,” Compton explained. “Either counseling or peer support or whatever the frontline responder needs that will allow us to provide it to them at no cost to them.”
The organization’s corporate partners have also pledged to match up to $100,000 in donations to keep providing mental health services to healthcare workers in need.
“Our plan is to continue serving healthcare workers because the world has changed, our definition of first responder has changed,” Sherrill said.
They hope to continue building the program with donations to keep it going for as long as needed.
“We're here and any frontline worker who is experiencing any sort of mental health care need and they want somebody to talk to, we’re here,” Compton said.