September was Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. Heading into October, we at News 5 are going to keep a focus on the topics of suicide awareness and prevention. Suicide has taken a toll in our community, not only in our schools among teens, but also among our military community.
The 22 push-ups campaign has been going strong over the summer. The challenge is to do 22 push ups a day to raise awareness for veteran suicide. The number represents the average number of veterans that take their lives every day.
Dr. Charles Weber, with the Family Care Center in Colorado Springs, points out that beside the 22 suicides a day among vets, there is another statistic that jumps out.
"When they looked at that number a little more, they have noticed completed suicides have been about 70 percent," he said.
Raising awareness and prompting veterans or anyone contemplating suicide for that matter is key to getting them to reach out for help for our vets.
"There is a myriad of aspects of help. There is a crisis hotline, there is a VA, Military One Source -- every community has an emergency room that you can walk into. All those are great resources to say, 'hey, get help.'" Dr. Weber said. "The 22 push-ups will not stop a suicide and it will be difficult to ever get down to zero, but if we prevent one, if we have changed one life."
Overcoming the stigma around suicide and getting the conversation started is often the key to getting someone help. Dr. Weber and his staff specialize in treating veterans, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to give them a call or get with your own doctor or medical provider.
You can also head to social media record yourself doing 22 pushups and use the #22pushupchallenge to keep the social media movement going.