LUCOM student-doctors join nationwide 22 push-up challenge
Last summer, the ALS ice bucket challenge swept across the nation via social media. Raising millions for the ALS Association, the challenge encouraged participants to record themselves pouring ice cold water above their head and nominating someone else to do so, with the hopes that they would do the same and give financially to the ALS Association. This summer, another challenge is quickly spreading and rising in popularity; the #22Kill push-up challenge.
On Wednesday, May 25, the Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) chapter of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (AMOPS) joined the #22 push-up movement to raise awareness of veteran suicide prevention. Much like the ice bucket challenge participants record themselves completing 22 push-ups, personally making or raising donations and then challenge others to do the same.
LUCOM-AMOPS members believe that this small act of support aligns with LUCOM’s mission of dedicating themselves to the service of their fellow man. “The push-up challenge provides the opportunity to educate and raise awareness about an epidemic affecting our veterans as they return home from war,” said Casey French, class of 2019 and president of LUCOM-AMOPS. “As [future] physicians, if we better educate ourselves to recognize the warning signs, get veterans the care they need earlier, we can hopefully empower them with a sense of purpose after service.”
The #22KILL initiative originally started within the Honor Courage Commitment, Inc., (HCC) movement in 2013 after members became aware that an average of 22 veterans are killed by suicide each day. HCC is committed to researching and understanding this epidemic of suicide among veterans and educating the public about health issues that are relatable to suicide; such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
“Veteran suicides is an incredibly important issue. It breaks my heart to see people who have sacrificed some much for our country feel as though they have nowhere to turn. I urge people to reach out to veterans they know, even just to call and check on them, because you never know the struggle they are facing,” said French.
In honor of Memorial Day on May 30, a special military LUCOM convocation was held earlier the same day featuring speaker David F. Klink, D.O., LUCOM Chair of the Department of Specialty Medicine. “Many of our veterans and active duty service members have experienced levels of physical and emotional trauma that most of us can’t even imagine. It is incumbent on all of us to be sensitive to what they have experienced and to reach out to them as a demonstration of our support and concern,” said Dr. Klink. “Just a small gesture could be the difference between someone seeking the help they need and taking their own life.”
To learn more about the efforts of the HCC and push-up challenge, as well as, how to donate visit 22Kill.com.