Push-up challenge hopes to raise awareness about veteran suicides

Published: Aug. 22, 2016 at 7:55 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2016 at 8:16 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Celebrities, Olympians, and now the NewsChannel 10 team are posting videos of themselves doing 22 push ups.

But why?

Well, it's the latest craze to raise public awareness about serious mental and physical diseases and even suicides.

The 22 Push Up Challenge was created by 22 Kill, an organization dedicated to preventing veteran suicides. It was devised to raise awareness of the 22 veteran suicides that happen daily. The goal of the challenge is to reach a total of 22 million push-ups.

The number 22 comes from a 2012 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) report on suicide data that analyzed death certificates in 21 sample states from 1999 to 2011.

In July, the VA released an updated report that estimated the daily number of veteran suicides is 20.

According to the report, veterans are 21 percent more likely to commit suicide than civilians.

Other challenges like this have been proven effective, like the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, where participants could donate money for medical research or dump a bucket of ice water over their heads.

The challenge raised over $1 Million and led to the discovery of a new gene, NEK1, which is now known to be among the most common genetic contributors of the disease.

Unlike the Ice Bucket Challenge, 22 Kill isn't looking for money, just public awareness; however, donations are welcome and go towards supporting the mental health treatment and therapy of veterans.

Now, participants are also encouraging their challengers to donate $22 to StopSoldierSuicide.org.

To help do our part, NewsChannel 10 is pitching in.

Our news team was challenged by KFDA NewsChannel 10 in Amarillo, and we are nominating the Lubbock Police Department and the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office, and you, our viewers.

Tag us in your videos on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. We want to see your best push ups!

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