WE BELIEVE IN A WORLD FREE FROM THE TRAGIC EXPERIENCE OF SUICIDE.
Neither government agencies nor community partners alone can tackle the veterans suicide epidemic at the current rate of a life lost every 65 minutes. We lose more than 8k of the 175,000 military men and women who transition each year to civilian life for many reasons and we are here to change that. Our vision is a world based on HOPE, where the mission of our nation’s heroes doesn’t expire with their service.
My wife Danielle and I founded Mission Zero to combat the PTSD and veteran suicide epidemic plaguing U.S. veterans.
We know from our own experiences that a PTSD diagnosis isn’t a death sentence or the end of the line. But we also know that it changes everything.
We’ve known how it feels to have the horrors of the battlefield follow us home. We understand what it’s like to be endlessly hounded by nightmares, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and the thought that there might never be an escape. We’ve witnessed firsthand how the current medical and veterans-support systems often can’t handle the problem, relying on oversimplified approaches, punitive mindsets, and dangerous pharmaceuticals that risk making the situation worse. And we know what it’s like for the war within your mind to claim collateral damage: your job, your family, your very existence.
But from our own experiences, we know there is a path to recovery. We know there are people and resources that can help our country’s heroes recover from their wounds. We know there are endless opportunities for veterans to prove that they’re not used goods, but instead incredible assets whose service to society is only just beginning. We know that a PTSD diagnosis can’t be wiped away – but it can be overcome, and the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves.
We know none of these efforts are quick, easy fixes – but that’s why we’re building a movement to help us accomplish our mission.
– United States Army Combat Veteran Jose BelenView Media Coverage
Jose Belen is a decorated United States Army Combat veteran and CEO of Florida Mission Zero Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating the PTSD and suicide epidemic plaguing U.S. veterans.
A native of Amsterdam in Upstate New York, Jose enlisted in the Army at age 19. He deployed to Iraq in 2003 during the initial Operation Iraqi Freedom invasion and spent 14 consecutive months in combat.
After his honorable discharge in 2005, Jose eventually moved to Florida, where he began raising a family and launched a successful corporate career in the real estate and insurance industries. Meanwhile, he was silently battling the debilitating effects post-traumatic stress disorder, with medical and veterans-support systems he had access to offering little help. Jose’s struggles came to a head in 2016, when the war within his own mind almost robbed him of everything: His career, his family, nearly his own life.
Ultimately, however, Jose was able to overcome his personal demons. Inspired by his triumph, in 2017 Jose and his wife Danielle founded Florida Mission Zero, an organization dedicated to proving PTSD isn’t a death sentence or the end of the line for U.S. veterans and their families. To that end, the nonprofit develops targeted education and advocacy campaigns, spearheads suicide prevention efforts, and organizes family support initiatives. Jose and Danielle also help business owners expand their veterans outreach and hiring programs, as well as run veterans coaching initiatives.
An inspiring public speaker, Jose has shared his story at major conferences nationally and internationally and has graced the stage with the likes of Montel Williams and former NFL star Marvin Washington.
Based on his own experiences, Jose is also an outspoken advocate for compassionate access to medical cannabis for veterans and non-veterans alike. He is one of six individuals and organizations who are currently suing the federal government to remove cannabis from its list of Schedule I drugs.Meet Jose
The personal story of a combat veteran who triumphed over the veteran suicide epidemic as a family, Founder Jose Belen and his family, evolved to the public mission we spearhead today. Since our inception we have worked tirelessly in the fight against antiquated thinking and broken processes attributing to the loss of our servicemen and women to suicide. The change in care for veterans will take more than a donation, sponsorship, discount, or fundraiser.
We empower key stakeholders who have a special connection to our mission and are interested in how the incident will impact them. Our vision is to create relationships with organizations who want to be a part of the solution to save the lives of our nation’s heroes. We believe support should be a two way street that fosters accessibility, influence, accountability and at the very least, an open dialogue.
Our financial supporters are more than funding sources, but rather ambassadors of the mission and champions of our community. This approach means donors are more than funders and therefore have the ability to take an active role in the actions, objectives and policies of the organization so together we can invest in long term change. Our Stakeholders spread across the globe and include individuals and institutions who believe there’s a better way and are working together to challenge the status quo.Key Stakeholders
What We Do
WE CREATE IMPACTFUL RELATIONSHIPS
We invest in community partnerships whose innovative solutions bring together the nations resources, both public and private, in an organized effort to provide lifesaving services.
We also support our community partners with the access to resources, social engagement, community networks, global platforms, strategic guidance and the personal connections needed to bridge the gap between those providing the services for veterans, and the veterans who need them.Learn More
WE RESTORE COMMUNITIES
We are creating a global system of veterans connecting with other veterans, in a safe space, to seek help without fear of reprisal. A term used to reflect the relationship among service members, referred to as “battle”, our Battles Program is a lifeline for those in isolation, for those who have lost all hope, and for those in search of a purpose.
This program is part of a larger initiative to positively impact over 1000 veteran lives each year with a single promise, to be a source of light to those walking in darkness.Learn More
WE EMPOWER INNOVATION THROUGH INCLUSION
Community events are a great way to bring people together for a good cause, but we take it a step further to provide immediate value for participants. We mobilize community resources through direct one on one interactions between organizations and the populations they serve. We provide the necessary tools and take proactive measures to empower veterans, and those in need to be stakeholders in their own care plans. Join a global network of social change makers who are committed to tackling the veteran suicide epidemic through education, access, and community connections.Learn More