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September 9, 2021

CTIA Wireless Foundation Announces Grant to Objective Zero Foundation

$50,000 Grant Supports Veteran Mental Health Resources

CTIA Wireless Foundation Announces Grant to Objective Zero Foundation

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WASHINGTON – CTIA Wireless Foundation today announced a $50,000 grant to Objective Zero Foundation, a mobile app connecting service members, veterans, their families and caregivers to a nationwide network of peer and civilian support through text, voice and video chat. Objective Zero was the Foundation’s Catalyst 2020 winner.

This grant supports Objective Zero Foundation’s work using wireless technology to address veteran, active duty military and their families’ mental health in the wake of recent events in Afghanistan. From July 2021 to August 2021, Objective Zero Foundation saw a 254% increase in users accessing resources within the app and a 776% increase in users connecting to the Veterans Crisis Line through the app.

“Objective Zero Foundation is using wireless to help the military community access important mental health resources after the recent events in Afghanistan,” said Dori Kreiger, Executive Director of CTIA Wireless Foundation. “We are proud to continue our support of these social entrepreneurs and their work through this additional grant.”

As the winner of Catalyst 2020, Objective Zero Foundation received a $100,000 grant from the Foundation. Catalyst is an annual competitive grants program for social entrepreneurs using wireless to improve the health and well-being of Americans. With the help of CTIA Wireless Foundation, Objective Zero Foundation has impacted up to 4.23 million lives, and responded to a 115% increase in app use during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Objective Zero Foundation was created after a life changing call between Co-Founder Chris Mercado and his former comrade who was struggling with suicidal thoughts. Chris, who is active duty military, served in Afghanistan and started Objective Zero with the thought that the simple act of listening could help save the lives of veterans.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The average number of veteran suicides per day is 17.6, a rate that is that 1.5 times that of non-veteran adults, according to the 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Veterans, particularly those that served in Afghanistan, are really struggling and we anticipate an ever-increasing rate in veterans needing support,” said Betsey Mercado, Objective Zero Foundation Co-Founder and Executive Director. “CTIA Wireless Foundation has been instrumental in Objective Zero being able to help the military and veteran community.”

Learn more about Objective Zero here.

25 Years of Wireless Social Innovation

For more than 25 years, CTIA Wireless Foundation has been at the forefront of wireless-driven social innovation, leading initiatives to address societal challenges such as public safety, domestic violence, children’s health, mental health and distracted driving. Our mission is to fuel positive social impact by using innovative wireless technology in American communities.

About CTIA Wireless Foundation

CTIA Wireless Foundation (www.wirelessfoundation.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to advancing positive social impact fueled by innovative wireless technology in American communities. CTIA Wireless Foundation was formed by CTIA® member companies in 1991. Follow CITA Wireless Foundation on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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