WATCH: This summer there’s a new campaign called the 22 pushup challenge to raise awareness about military veterans experiencing PTSD. Monica Martinez explains.
Trevor Davis leads a group of RCMP officers through a pushup exercise.
“Everybody up on their toes,” he said.
But it isn’t police training, the 22 pushup challenge is a campaign to raise awareness for veterans who experience post-traumatic stress disorder.
“22 pushups in 22 days in recognition of the on average 22 American vets that commit suicide every day,” Davis said.
The initiative began in the U.S., celebrities like John Krasinski and Chris Evans taking up the cause, and launching it into the mainstream.
The viral marketing campaign is similar to the ALS ice bucket challenge, where people are nominated to participate and donate.
But the focus with 22 pushups is on education and awareness around mental health issues experienced by vets which can lead to suicide.
Davis spent 10 years with the military and now works as a corrections officer. While he hasn’t personally experienced PTSD, he knows others who have.
“It affects so many people that I personally know and people I don’t know who are in the same occupational group as me.”
Veterans Affairs Canada said anything that reduces the stigma associated with mental illness is positive.
“I think it’s a great initiative in terms of it really making people excited and making people aware that there are issues out there that people are facing and they require the help and services that some of the front line staff can provide,” said spokesperson Zoltan Csepregi .
Wednesday is day 22 for Davis, and he’s hoping to get 22 people out tonight to join him in the challenge, at 6:30 p.m. in front of Cst. Sarah Beckett’s memorial outside West Shore RCMP.
He hopes in raising awareness, it will help break down barriers for people to get the help they need.