Defending 22 Challenge:

A Health & Wellness Initiative

Join the challenge – Oct. 21 through Nov. 11

It starts with one simple act of support

Twenty-two. A 2012 study conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs found that approximately 22 veterans, active-duty service members, guardsmen and reservists take their own lives every day. While this number has since fluctuated, even one suicide is one too many.
It has been said that suicide prevention can start with one simple act of support. To show our support, raise awareness of the daily suicide rate and mental health issues, and give back to those who serve in our surrounding communities and throughout the world, we encourage employees to come together to accept the Defending 22 challenge.

Why Defending 22?

As the number 22 remains symbolic in the veterans’ mental health movement, we developed this challenge to take place over the course of 22 days.

What is the challenge?

For 22 days, employees are challenged to complete a personal health and wellness goal to serve as a daily reminder of those lost to suicide. In honor of each BAE Systems, Inc. employee who registers to accept the challenge, BAE Systems, Inc. will make a donation to one of four organizations whose missions support the improvement of mental health and wellness for those who serve: Team Red, White & Blue, Home BaseHeadstrong and Wounded Warrior.  
Are you a BAE Systems, Inc. UK or Sweden employee (Rochester, Middleton, Barrow-in Furness, Karlskoga, or Örnsköldsvik )? In support of your participation in Defending 22, a BAE Systems contribution will be made on your behalf to the organizations listed below:
  • BAE Systems, Inc. UK employees in Rochester and Middleton: In honor of each  BAE Systems, Inc. UK employee who registers to take the challenge, the company will make a donation to Combat Stress.
  • BAE Systems, Inc. UK employees in Barrow-in-Furness: In honor of each BAE Systems, Inc. UK employee who registers to take the challenge, the company will make a donation to Help for Heroes.
  • BAE Systems, Inc. Sweden employees: In honor of each BAE Systems, Inc. Sweden employee who registers to take the challenge, the company will make a donation to The Peace Berets.
In addition to BAE Systems donating on behalf of employees who register, each employee can also make a difference with a personal donation to one of our Defending 22 charity partners. Employee donations will allow our charity partners to help even more veterans in need. Additionally, when an employee donates via the company's workplace giving portal, BAE Systems will match each donation dollar for dollar – doubling the gift’s impact!

How do I participate?

  • Select a healthy habit to incorporate into your life, or commit to giving up an unhealthy one, for 22 days.
  • Choose one of the highlighted veteran health-focused organizations, and BAE Systems will make a donation for each employee who participates in Defending 22.
  • Sign Up to take the Defending 22 Challenge.
  • Share your success story by using #defending22 on social media. Be sure to tag BAE Systems, Inc. (@baesystemsinc) and make your posts public!
Click the button below to register for the Defending 22 Challenge!

Why health and wellness?

BAE Systems’ Health & Wellness Council promotes an inclusive culture of overall well-being that inspires and empowers all employees and their families to eat right and lead an active lifestyle. It is our mission that every employee be energized, engaged, and productive in every facet of life.
The goal of the Defending 22 challenge is to unify employees across BAE Systems by engaging company values while raising awareness for veterans’ mental health. Participating in this challenge honors those who have protected us and continue to do so. 

How should I select a personal goal?

Having trouble selecting a personal goal? Consider talking to your Cigna health coach, if it’s included in your company benefit plan, or reaching out to your health care professional to identify a goal.
Also, consider reaching out to colleagues to choose similar goals you can work on together and encourage each other along the way.

What are some examples of personal goals?

From committing to stretching for five minutes to improve flexibility to going on a daily walk with colleagues or even getting your heart rate up for 22 minutes throughout the day, your personal goal can encompass any form of exercise.
Not interested in exercise? You could set your personal goal around nutrition by committing to eating a healthy breakfast or adding a vegetable a day to your diet.
Personal goals aren’t limited to nutrition and exercise. You could select a goal related to balance, which could include meditation, focusing on family time or improving your overall mental health.

Can I share my personal goal and what I am doing throughout the challenge?

Yes! We encourage you to share your activities during the challenge by sharing your Defending 22 story on social media. Simply use the hashtag #defending22 in your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts, tag @baesystemsinc and make your posts public so that your colleagues can see what you’re doing. BAE Systems, Inc.’s official social media accounts will be using the hashtag and monitoring it as well, and your story may get shared on the company’s social media accounts, corporate website, or intranet, upon your approval.

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