Online social media campaign raises Veteran suicide awareness

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — There’s a fast growing social media campaign on the rise. It’s like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but it doesn’t involve water, instead, you use your muscles. The 22 pushup challenge wants to put on a light on veteran suicide, and the fight against it.

The social media campaign wants to collectively document 22,000,000 pushups. The number 22 represents the veterans who take their own lives every day.

Local Iraq and Afghanistan war vet Jeff Gramlich served in the United States Marine Corps, he says he knows several fellow vets who took their own lives.

Gramlich said, “We don’t want to see any more suicides, people gave too much of their lives to their country to come back and think that’s the only way out.”

The VA says that number of 22 has recently dropped..

“Katie Coric, a Suicide Veteran Coordinator with the VA, said, “The more recent information accurately is the 20 veterans a day killing themselves, which is still astronomical.”

Coric says the decrease is likely the result of hard work by the VA. She says the 22 pushup challenge will hopefully help save more lives.

“I love the idea that people are raising awareness and looking out for each other.something that you are seeing in your feed everyday, and something to not take lightly.”, said Coric.

Gramlich said, “It’s a work in progress, but I am optimistic about all of the programs and things that we have going on so we can deter vets and make them feel like we are not so alone.”

“There are solutions to problems, and we find them for people everyday, loved ones find them people everyday, and it does go a long way in saving lives.”, said Coric.

For more information on the VA’s Suicide Prevention Program, go to: http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention/

For more information on #22Kill, go to: https://www.22kill.com/22-honor-pushups/

 

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