Police Officer and Pooch Do Pushups for Veterans [Video]
22Kill is an organisation dedicated to raising awareness about veteran mental health and advocating for education on the topic. They are affiliated with the Honor, Courage, and Commitment organisation which aims to aid our veterans and advocate for their issues. They host various challenges and campaigns to get the public involved in this serious issue. One of their most successful campaigns is the for viral challenge.
Why the number 22? It’s the shocking, but very real, statistic that 22 veterans are killed by suicide each day in the US. By challenging others to get involved and show their support, 22Kill hopes to help veterans understand the reaches of the support network they have. The challenge, filming yourself doing up 22 pushups and posting it online, makes it easy to get involved in the discussion on veteran mental health care.
Overseas, the U.K. police force Avon and Somerset Constabulary has gotten involved with the project. The statistics for veterans killed by suicide are similar in the U.K., as the mental health crisis for those who have served is worldwide. PC Steve Hopwood has decided to do 22 pushups each day, but he’s not doing it alone! His K9 partner Monty has decided to join him in this challenge. In an adorable video that went viral, PC Hopwood and Monty do their 22 pushups side by side (with one extra for good measure). The video has been viewed 2.1 million times on Facebook and the comment section is filled with messages of support and discussion on PTSD. The pair hope to encourage others to get involved with the cause and end the stigma around mental health.
Look at that push up power!
Too many veterans remain silent about their illness due to intense stigma about what it means to have mental health challenges. In order to prevent deaths, reaching out for help is an important first step. You can help veterans do this by making sure they know that you care about them and validating their needs. Stigmas can be beaten if we rewrite the social narrative on mental health. The women and men who serve this country are nothing but brave and deserve our support.
If you’d like to take part in the challenge, they’ve made it accessible to all! You don’t have to be a service member to try it, anyone who supports veterans is welcome. Any number of pushups can be done to your ability level, from 1 to 100. If you are unable to do push ups, you may do them assisted, on an incline, or do air pushups. 22Kill hopes to reach 22 million pushups done worldwide to show support for the cause. .
More by Morgan Sterling