Mental health organizations from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom announced September 12, 2017 the launch of the #SixtySecondChallenge. The global initiative seeks to raise awareness and support for suicide prevention by encouraging people to give those who need a lift, a “push up.” Participants will do sixty seconds of push ups, which can be done creatively, donate to one of the featured charities, and challenge three friends to do the same. The campaign kicked off on World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 and will run through World Mental Health Awareness Day on October 10, 2017.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the suicide rate in the United States is now at a 30-year high. Every 40 seconds, someone in the world is lost to suicide and every 41 seconds, someone is left wondering why.
The statistics on suicide are alarming:
Over 44,193 Americans die by suicide every year, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the American Foundation to Suicide Prevention.
Suicide is the number one cause of death for LGBT youth, with this group making up 30 percent of all youth suicide, according to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.
90 percent of those who die by suicide have an untreated mental illness at the time of their death, says the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Suicides are preventable, especially when those who feel hopeless receive treatment and are surrounded by supportive family and friends. For that reason, professional athletes from around the world are leading the #SixtySecondChallenge. In the U.S., the list of ambassadors is growing every day. They can be found on www.SixtySecondChallenge.com or by searching #SixtySecondChallenge.
“Push-ups are difficult. But, sometimes, so is living,” said Kerry Martin, CEO and Founder of Hope Xchange Nonprofit, and U.S. Co-Chair of the #SixtySecondChallenge. “From a child diagnosed with bipolar disorder battling suicidal thoughts to transgender youth who just want to be accepted, individuals considering suicide need to know that people care about them and someone will be there when they reach out for help. This is an opportunity for us to lift up those who are down while raising awareness and needed funds for suicide prevention and mental health treatment.”
The team behind the global #SixtySecondChallenge includes, Australia: Ivan Schwartz, Managing Director of Imagine Foundation, Kaine Costello, Head of Partnerships and Innovation at Everydayhero, Erin Macauley, Chief Operating Officer at Suicide Shatters Families, and Joe Williams, International Speaker and Founder of The Enemy Within; and from the United States: Kerry Martin, CEO and Founder of Hope Xchange Nonprofit, and Eric Kussin, WAALC.
More information can be found at: www.SixtySecondChallenge.com.