A new challenge to raise awareness about the issue of suicide among United States military veterans is picking up steam on social media.
The 22 Pushup Challenge is named after a sad fact – an estimated 22 veterans take their own lives every day.
But the goal of the campaign is an important one: raising awareness about suicide among veterans and highlighting ways people can help.
The movement has attracted many different people to the cause. This included Louis Krudo, founder and owner of KRUDO Knives. He will be updating his participation in the event through updates on Facebook. He is committed to doing 22 pushups a day for 22 days.
Facts About Veterans Suicide
A 2012 report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs shows that as many as 22 veterans a day die by their own hand, according to Florida Today. The rate of suicide is often higher in the first three years after a veteran leaves the military service.
Speaking to Florida Today, Melbourne psychologist Scott Fairchild, who works with patients suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, said everyone can help by simply reaching out to veterans in your neighborhood, letting them know what their service means to you and making them feel welcome.
“It’s the little things that make the difference,” he said, adding that veterans having difficulty transitioning back to civilian life. This is because they might actually be more likely to open up to a neighbor or someone they know rather than to a professional.
The 22 Pushup Challenge
To draw awareness to the issue, the group Honor Courage Commitment began the pushup challenge. A person is nominated for the challenge, and should they accept they then film themselves doing the pushups, post and tag it on social media, and also nominate another person to take the challenge.
The goal is to reach a total of 22 million pushups, according to CNN.
Celebrities have even joined the movement. They include actors such as Dwayne Johnson, John Krasinski, Chris Pratt and Kevin Bacon. Updates are posted all over social media, including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
According to CNN, there are even more harrowing facts behind the 22 number. For example, the Department of Veterans Affairs reports that about 22 percent of all suicides between 1999 and 2009 were committed by veterans.
Other reports have cited different numbers, but the idea behind the pushup campaign still remains important. People should be aware of this issue among our nation’s veterans and do what they can to stem the tide of this sad trend.