Objective Zero is the first organization to crowd-source moral support for Veterans, consolidate Veteran suicide prevention resources, and connect users via high-definition video chat.
Objective Zero is a nonprofit technology start-up that seeks to prevent Veteran suicide by enhancing meaningful social connectedness and access to suicide prevention resources through a mobile app that connects Veterans, military members, and their families to suicide prevention resources and a nationwide suicide prevention network of volunteer civilians, counselors, and fellow Veterans. The team at Objective Zero believes that every veteran suicide can be prevented through the simple act of listening.
Design & Development
Roughly 20 Veterans and one current service member commit suicide every day, according to the most recent government data. This equates to over 7,000 suicides per year. Despite its best, noble efforts, the US government is unable to deal with the scope of this problem. The VA’s Suicide Crisis Hotline, for instance, has been embroiled in controversy over the past few years, after reports surfaced that many Veterans were being put on hold or being redirected to back up call centers.
According to Veterans Administration data, the highest rate of suicide is occurring among younger Veterans, aged 18-29, indicating that the crisis will only get worse as these Veterans age. Moreover, when compared to their civilian counterparts, Veterans are approximately 21% more likely to commit suicide.
As evidenced by the Department of Defense’s suicide prevention initiatives, the Department considers suicide a serious risk to the wellness, morale, and readiness of the US military. Indeed, Department of Defense has invested millions of dollars and mandated compulsory suicide prevention training for every service member of the Armed Forces. Despite these efforts, the suicide rate for service members continues unabated.
ADC was approached by Objective Zero in hopes of solving this colossal problem by using their expertise and proven track record. One of the biggest concerns for us was to deliver a top notch product under the given time constraints. We took this as our moral responsibility to give back to Veterans and approached the product as our own.
Objective Zero seeks to change the landscape by thinking differently about the problem, using the latest technology, and consolidating governmental and NGO suicide prevention resources in one place. It provides the following features to its users:
• We provide direct access to ambassadors for Veterans anonymously
• We enhance social connectedness
• We use the latest technology
• Objective Zero is instant
• Objective Zero is anonymous
• We are a disruptive force
• We have high-quality commercial content within the app
• We are going beyond prevention to preemption
Objective Zero seeks to break down the wall between Veterans and the civilian population. Because less than 1% of the US population serves in the military, there is inherently a cultural divide between those who serve and those who do not. Much of this stems from a lack of interaction between the two communities. Some Veterans feel like civilians don’t care about their sacrifices, while civilians often do not feel comfortable nor have an outlet for communicating with Veterans about their service. They want to, but they don’t know how.
Objective Zero helps overcome this barrier by connecting civilian volunteers (Ambassadors) to Veterans via voice, video, and text. To facilitate this process, we’ve partnered with PsychArmor, a nonprofit that delivers high-quality online education aimed at helping civilians understand the military community.