Are you ready to take the challenge?

military-strong-decal-3-19Join the movement to become a member of our Military Strong community by participating in the PsychArmor Institute’s Veteran-ready Certification program.

Only an hour-long, this free online program teaches civilians how to understand and provide support to the thousands of veterans and service members who call Lewis and Clark County home.

Nationwide, nearly 20 veterans, active-duty service members and reservists die by suicide every day. In Montana, more than 50 take their lives in a typical year. It’s time for all of us to answer the call to help our neighbors and become Military Strong.

What is “Military Strong?”

From Memorial Day to Veterans Day 2019, organizations, businesses, schools, government offices, and many others in the area will challenge each other to become Military Strong by taking four free online courses. Created by PsychArmor Institute, these Veteran-ready certification courses are each about 15 minutes long and will educate you and your staff to better understand military culture.  Course titles are as follows:

  • 15 Things Veterans Want You to Know
  • Communication Skills with Veterans
  • Helping Others Hold On
  • How to Talk to Someone with a Disability

A similar set of courses will be provided to businesses. To qualify as Military Strong your organization must have 50 percent of staff complete the online training. At that point, you can start challenging others! There’s no limit on how many you can challenge, but we do ask you to choose at least two.

If you have questions, please direct them to Jess Hegstrom, the Lewis and Clark Public Health suicide prevention coordinator, at jhegstrom@lccountymt.gov or 457-8970.

Onboarding Process

Any local business, organization, school, government agency, medical facility, or group can be challenged by another agency to become Military Strong via email and Facebook. OR they can contact jhegstrom@lccountymt.gov to nominate themselves. Just like challenged agencies, self-nominating entities can challenge others upon completion of the certification program.

To challenge another organization, you must send an email to the entity’s leadership explaining the campaign and how to proceed, along with an FAQ and a template letter for their employees. All of these items will be provided by contacting jhegstrom@lccountymt.gov.

After you send the email, the challenging organization can create a Facebook post announcing their challenge using the hashtag #MilitaryStrong (examples will be provided).

Once the challenge is accepted, you must get the following information from the recipient and send it to jhegstrom@lccountymt.gov:

  1. Organization name
  2. Organization type (nonprofit, higher education, for-profit, healthcare, etc.)
  3. Organization logo
  4. Number of employees (full, part-time and temporary)
  5. Point-of-contact administrator – name and email

After you send this information, the participating agency will get a custom URL to access the PsychArmor website. Once half of your employees have completed the training, the point-of-contact administrator will get a notice of certification. They can then challenge at least two other organizations.

At the end of each month, the Suicide Prevention Coalition will award each certified organization with a Military Strong window cling, individual stickers for employees, a thank you via Facebook, a letter of appreciation from Mayor Wilmot Collins and an acknowledgment in a letter to the editor of the Helena Independent Record, and inclusion on the coalition and PsychArmor websites.

Learn more about PsychArmor here.