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I Challenge You to 22
It is estimated that 22 Veterans die by suicide each day. A major cause of Veteran suicide is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD can sometimes cause ordinary situations to turn challenging and escalate quickly. Our Veterans need a tangible way to de-escalate for their mental health and self-care. The Challenge Coin is a solution. It provides hope and inspiration, as well as a 24/7 resource.
A Challenge Coin has been part of the military tradition since World War I as a way to symbolize unity, brotherhood, and camaraderie. Today, Challenge Coins are a way to prove membership to a branch of service/a specific mission, and to boost morale. They increase conversation and allow Veterans to share their stories.
Each Challenge Coin emphasizes the impact of conversation by having the words "Tell Me Your Story, Listen To Mine. We Fought For Our Freedom, We Must Fight For Each Other."
Challenge Coins encourage open communication among Veterans
Expanding upon a Military tradition of support and camaraderie, we created our own Challenge Coin. These Challenge Coins are similar in style to the Challenge Coins that already mean so much to our Veterans. The Center's Challenge Coins are a way to honor Veterans, and even more importantly, provide them with the life-saving resource, HOPELINE.
We at The Center for Suicide Awareness wanted to do more. We came up with the idea of providing Challenge Coins for every law enforcement municipality. Our idea is simple: to provide each police officer/first responder with our Challenge Coins, which has the HOPELINE resource, and to have those officers distribute them to Veterans who are struggling and in need.
Each Coin features the HOPELINE texting number. HOPELINE is a completely free, confidential, textline that is staffed by trained crisis counselors. Because the HOPELINE is a 24/7 resource, it is valuable for those who may not have the resources or means to seek help. Having the HOPELINE available when most outside resources are not open provides a person with immediate help. The anonymity of the draws texters in, and it is a culturally responsive option that can be utilized by any person.
Every $10 provides one Challenge Coin to a Veteran in need
The impact of Challenge Coins can be seen in many areas. According to one Veteran, “the coin gave me the drive, compassion, and motivation to crush the 22 a day, which would have included me.” Receiving this coin served as a reminder that people do care, and that the Veteran needed to update their own self-care plan. It is a way to provide a resource and honor those who have served for our freedoms.
Help us honor our hometown heroes by providing Challenge Coins for our Veterans.
The cost to purchase each coin