Saving lives through the simple act of listening
In the fall of 2014, Justin Miller was struggling with the transition out of the military. Medically retired after serving 12 years as an infantryman, Justin was dealing with medical issues including post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. After several nights of getting only a few hours of sleep due to nightmares, he reached his breaking point and was ready to take his life. The only thing that stopped him was that he didn't want to wake his wife by loading his weapon. He reached out for help and couldn't get an appointment for two days. Within minutes of hanging up the phone, Chris Mercado, his former comrade, called Justin to see how he was doing, as Chris recognized signs on social media that Justin was struggling. The pair spoke on the phone overnight, with Chris simply listening to Justin. This 6+ hour phone call would change both of their lives and sparked the idea that the simple act of listening can save the lives of veterans. Read Justin Miller’s entire inspirational story here.
The Objective Zero Foundation operates on a ‘Give Support, Get Support’ model, enabling users and peer support Ambassadors to reach out for help, connect to health and wellness resources, or volunteer their support to others. Users may choose to remain anonymous or may build their own unique profiles. The Objective Zero mobile app allows users to apply filters to find their best possible match in a peer supporter. The Objective Zero mobile app is to anyone in the military community to download for free on Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Learn more about how the technology behind the Objective Zero mobile app works here.
connecting veterans through voice, video, and text
connecting veterans to wellness resources
Social impact and metrics
Suicide in the military community is a public health crisis.
On average, 20 veterans and 1 active duty service-member die by suicide daily
18% of suicides in the US are veterans, although veterans make up less than 9% of the population
18-29 year old veterans have the highest rate of suicide
Female veterans are 250% more likely to die by suicide than civilian women
Learn more about the public health crisis here.
750+ Peer supporters trained
Through partnerships with the Department of Veterans Affairs, PsychArmor, and the National Center for Veterans Studies, all Objective Zero peer support Ambassadors receive baseline suicide prevention training and have access to a library of additional training.
3,000 users connected to health & wellness resources
The Objective Zero mobile app connects users and peer supporters to a curated menu of health and wellness resources, including guided meditation, yoga and fitness content, and mindfulness training.
800+ hours of voice & video connections on the oz app
The Objective Zero app connects users instantly and anonymously to a network of trained peer support Ambassadors distributed in all 50 states and in 13 countries around the world.
6,000+ text conversations exchanged on the confidential oz platform
Sorting and filtering options allow users to find the peer supporter that best matches their specified criteria. Filters include age, gender, branch of service, military occupational specialty, and location.