Project 22 Film Showings Offered

BERLIN — The Jesse Klump Memorial Fund, in partnership with the Worcester County Health Department, is proud to present Project 22, a feature-length, critically-acclaimed film that brings to light the problem of suicide among military veterans. This amazing film, created by two battle-scarred Marines, is available for screening at no cost to local sponsoring organizations.

Project 22 is an extension of the Mental Health: Know the Facts, No Stigma campaign, the goal of which is to improve access to mental health care by eliminating the stigma that prevents many who need it from seeking it. The stigma associated with seeking help for mental health is especially relevant to veterans of the military: 22 veterans die by their own hands in the United States every day.

From the film makers: “After tragedy struck home … two combat-wounded veterans set out to end a little-known epidemic in America. Their 6500-mile cross-country mission was to raise awareness of the high rate of suicide among veterans and to show their brothers and sisters-in-arms that there is hope for them. During their journey, they interviewed researchers, healthcare providers and veterans. Many of those they encountered had either contemplated or attempted suicide and were able to share the lifesaving sources of hope that they had found.

“Asking hard-hitting questions and opening up about their own struggles, and painfully stirred on by the estimate that 22 veterans are taking their own lives every single day, Daniel and Doc will stop at nothing to reach tomorrow’s 22.”

Klump Fund Secretary Ron Pilling said providing help with the transition home can be challenging for all individuals of the Armed Forces.

“The young men and women returning from combat have seen and experienced things that are so horrible as to be unimaginable to those of us on the home front,” said Pilling. “We owe it to them to help them find a way to deal with the horrific scenes that confront them every day, and to help them get beyond the ingrained warrior mentality that is a wall between them and healing. Daniel and Doc do that in Project 22, riding their motorcycles across the country in 22 days, and sharing the stories of those who have survived their suicidal thoughts and actions. It isn’t enough to wave flags and hang banners to welcome them home. We must all do more to assure their happiness and safety.”

A discussion session led by a Suicide Prevention Outreach Specialist will follow each screening of the film. Information on crisis response resources will also be available.

To learn how any organization can schedule a showing of Project 22, send a message to [email protected].