One of the founders of “46-4-22 ADK Ltd.” just emailed me with the exciting news that they were officially approved as a 501 c3 nonprofit organization supporting Veteran mental health and Suicide awareness. That is such fantastic news for them and will allow them the opportunity to further their mission.
But, wait a minute, “46-4-22 ADK” What does that mean exactly?
The founders of 46-4-22 ADK Ltd. are hiking the “46 Adirondack High Peaks” in order to raise awareness of Veteran Suicide. That’s the “46”.
The next one is easy. “4” = “For”.
The “22” in the non-profit’s name? Well, that stands for the 22 soldiers a day who commit suicide. 22 a day. Let that sink in.
The two founders of 46-4-22 ADK Ltd., Mike and Matt (both 100% disabled vets who suffer with many physical disabilities in addition severe PTSD), will attempt to accomplish the “46er” challenge as a Ranger Buddy team.
These veterans have come together to raise public awareness of US military veteran mental health issues and the challenges these men and women face every day. Through their work, they hope to shed light on the epidemic level of suicides within the veteran communities, both locally within New York as well as nationally.
The hikers will utilize social media to live stream their climbs and engage in discussions about veteran mental health issues. Area climbing/hiking clubs will be invited to join as an opportunity to directly interact with the public in the effort to raise mental health awareness. Veterans and veteran groups from across New York will be invited to create their own “buddy teams” and join the hikes.
The buddy team concept is used to help at risk veterans to make vital personal connections in order to show them “they are not alone”. The benefits of the “buddy team” carry off the mountain too. Through the “buddy system” network created during each hike, at risk veterans will always have someone to talk to when their “days grow dark”. The hope is that a statewide network of “buddy teams” for both mental health support as well as continued awareness of veteran mental health issues will be created.
During a veteran’s service, mission accomplishment is their #1 goal. Through the “46er” challenge, 46-4-22 ADK Ltd. seeks to issue all veterans with a new mission to accomplish, giving them something positive to focus on and work towards rather than reliving tragic experiences from their past. Additionally, the founders wish to empower physically disabled veterans to redefine themselves and not let their disabilities define them.
46-4-22 ADK Ltd. hopes to show veterans suffering with mental illness that they are never alone. You can do the same by showing your support of organizations that work to raise awareness of the ongoing crisis in mental health care for our nation’s veteran population.
46-4-22 ADK Ltd.’s first hike was July 4th. Visit their Facebook page to get updates on future hikes and information on how to get involved!