Monday, August 29, 2016

22 Till None

By: Terry Beyer

Starting in 2014, the ice bucket challenge took the internet by storm; a fad with a purpose. According to the ALS Association nearly 17 million people took part in the challenge. Over 100 million dollars has been donated towards understanding ALS and, what’s more, there has been a breakthrough in research into ALS. The point is, fads work. Just as important as the donations received for the cause, ALS was the 6th most Googled term during 2014. That is millions and millions of people who are learning about ALS, what it is, and how it affects the lives of those diagnosed with it.

 During the week of August 14, 2016 actor Chris Evans posted a video of himself completing the 22 Pushup challenge. Other well-known celebrities like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Scott Eastwood, Kevin Hart, and Ludacris have taken part. These famous names may help shed light and show a willingness to address an issue that is plaguing us as a nation. Nationally, 13 out of every 100,000 people commit suicide each year. A 2014 Veterans Administration showed an average of 35.3 out of every 100,000 veterans will commit suicide. Out of the 41,425 people to take their own lives in 2014, 7,403 were veterans. Today an estimated 22 veterans will take their lives each day.

 These numbers may not seem high compared to the 318.9 million people in the US and approximately 21.8 million veterans, until you consider that veterans are among the higher demographics committing suicide each year. The 22 Pushup Challenge was started by the Honor Courage Commitment Inc. as a method to bring awareness of the rising veteran suicide rate. With the simple action of posting a video and hashtag doing 22 pushups, the challenge has taken an issue that is not spoken about into common place. The thousands to millions of people participating in the challenge are creating a platform where a sensitive subject like suicide can now be addressed. With the platform of the 22 Pushup Challenge it is possible to highlight the causes and signs that can precede a suicide. With the public support for the campaign, it is becoming less taboo to ask for help when someone is dealing with problems.

  One of the tragedies of suicide is the stigma attached to it. It isn’t that people want to commit suicide, they are driven to it. Asking for help is often considered a sign of weakness, of not being able to cope. In a statement from 22Kill, the campaign leaders behind the 22 Pushup Challenge, they have said “In order to prevent or ‘fix’ a problem, one must first learn and understand the problem itself and its causes.” With the public support for veterans and the campaign, I hope that people are looking it up to see what it is about. I hope they are trying to find out why this campaign matters and why it should be shared. It takes a very serious problem in our society, which is not limited to just veterans, and provides the opportunity for us as a society to improve our view towards asking for help. As a veteran myself, I can say we are generally very prideful in our self-reliability. Sometimes we need help and sometimes everyone else does too. Asking for it shouldn’t be so hard.

 22 Kill Campaign can be found at :

Honor Courage Commitment INC:



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