22 Push up Challenge Brings Message Home
In 2016, it was reported that 22 veterans and service members were dying by suicide every day in the US.
Three years later, a 2018 report shows that number is now at 20.6.
For Bill Little, LCSW, local veteran and Program Coordinator of the Military Veteran Program (MVP) at Hamilton Center, Inc., “one is too many; zero is the goal.”
On Monday September 30, 2019, coinciding with Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Little hosted the culmination to the 22 Push-up Facebook Challenge, in recognition of the 22 veterans and services members that complete suicide every day in the US.
For 22 days in September local groups and organizations took part in the challenge by completing 22 push-ups and challenging others to do the same. The purpose of the campaign was to not only to use local businesses and organizations to bring awareness to suicide prevention but to target conversation around the specific issues that veterans and service members face.
“We know that veterans and service members are more likely to experience trauma related disorders, struggle with reintegration into their communities, and isolate themselves from others due to overwhelming fear of stigma,” said Bill Little. “All of these factors and more lead to a higher risk of suicidal ideations, suicide attempts, and suicide completion,” he added.
With over 7,500 veterans, and over 45,000 US adults dying by suicide every year, its evident this issue is affecting everyone in some way. It is estimated that for every suicide there are 135 individuals affected by the event, often leading to trauma and trauma related disorders. For veterans it can be said that this contributes to a vicious cycle of trauma, isolation, and suicidal ideations. Whatever the circumstances of one’s struggle, Melvin L Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc. has a straight forward message, “Your life has great value; you are not alone; recovery is possible.”
If you or a loved one are struggling with trauma related issues, thoughts of suicide, or experiencing a crisis, Hamilton Center, Inc. can help. For more information on MVP and other services call 1-800-742-0787 for crisis support.
Hamilton Center also offers community mental health trainings including Mental Health First Aid, Youth Mental Health First Aid, Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR), and Trauma-informed Care (TIC). Each of these courses offer individuals, groups, and organizations certified skills and tools that can assist them in helping someone that might be experiencing a crisis or suicidal ideations. To learn more about these courses go to www.trianingourcommunity.org.
Hamilton Center, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit regional health system in central and west central Indiana. The Organization is building hop and changing lives through a broad array of health service for people during their entire lifecycle, birth through older adulthood. Services are individualized, trauma informed, and evidence based.
For more information contact 812-231-8323 or visit www.hamiltoncenter.org.