Plymouth people have been getting behind the new social media craze of performing push ups to raise awareness of post traumatic stress disorder in veterans. Just like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge which stormed the internet in 2014, the #22PushUpChallenge is a chance for people to show their support by doing 22 push ups over 22 days. The number was calculated as it is said that 22 veterans commit suicide every day in America.
Since the start of 2016, the challenge has been gathering a large following with people uploading videos to the web, and then donating to veteran mental health charities. Now, many Plymouth people are on board, and have been nominating others around the city to take part in the challenge. Thank you @SaltashPCSO for the nomination, raising awareness of PTSD. We nominate @BodminCFRS & @FalmouthCFRS pic.twitter.com/yiczTFnsg2
Saltash Fire Station (@SaltashCFRS) July 26, 2016
PCSO Kirsty Down from the Saltash neighbourhood team has been storming Twitter with her pushup videos even completing the challenge while her son sits on her back.
Kirsty said: “I’m doing it to raise awareness of PTSD depression and anxiety and I am trying to show people [that] it can affect anyone at anytime.
“[It is] for people to know there are people here to help and I support them and their families through what can be a dark and lonely time.
“I was lucky enough to have the support of my family and close friends when I was diagnosed with depression last year, some people are not that fortunate.”
Day 1 9 of my 22 #PressUpChallenge
New nomination; @NewquayInsp @CombatStress #PTSD #Depression #NotAlone pic.twitter.com/BRTuu0xSp4
PCSO Kirsty Down D&C (@SaltashPCSO) August 8, 2016
Many other forces across the South West including Saltash Fire Station, Exmouth Fire Station and police officers have been participating. One of the first to be recognised doing the challenge was Mark Ormrod, a former Royal Marine who lost three limbs in Afghanistan when he stepped on IED in Helmand on Christmas Eve 2007. Mark, who lives with wife Becky, 30, and their three children in Plymouth, said: “I did think about suicide when I got out of hospital.
“The Armyrats © military put my family up in a flat opposite and when I was discharged I went across to the flat.
“The wheelchair wouldn’t fit in the lounge where people were eating and chatting so I had to have my dinner on my lap in the hallway.
“That night I was getting ready for bed when I saw myself for the first time in a full-length mirror and I just had a fleeting thought of ‘I don’t want to live like this.’
“That’s as far is it went but I’ve known other people who have committed suicide.
“It is very important for me to be part of this challenge to raise awareness about providing the right mental health support and provision for servicemen.”
Combat Stress, the veterans mental health charity are urging people to try the challenge.
Their website states: “Taking part in the #22PushUpChallenge is a great way to raise awareness of veterans’ mental health and PTSD, and at the same time make a donation to charity.
“Increasing numbers of veterans are coming to Combat Stress every year for help with mental health problems. Your donation will help us deliver services and support for these veterans.
“If you would like to take part in the challenge, you can post a video to social media using the hashtag #22PushUpChallenge, and donate 5 to Combat Stress by texting PTSD22 to 70004.”
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- ^ July 26, 2016 (twitter.com)
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- ^ @NewquayInsp (twitter.com)
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- ^ August 8, 2016 (twitter.com)
A LEADING doctor has called for more to be done to reduce the pressure on GP staff after a survey found that almost 90 per cent of people who work in surgeries find their work stressful. Mental health charity, Mind, found that a staggering amount of family doctors, practice nurses and reception staff felt stressed in the workplace, with 10 per cent admitting to having suicidal thoughts. Dr Arabella Onslow, deputy lead GP for Furness on Cumbria’s Clinical Commissioning Group, believes that people need to be aware of the stress that GP staff are often under.
She said: “I know from some of my colleagues that the workload has changed from treating people to doing a lot of paperwork and that can be quite overwhelming.
“Getting that work-life balance outside of the surgery can be really hard and I understand that people are aggravated and not listened to in the workplace.”
“Doctors find it hard to ask for help and there needs to be more support available to make your work more manageable. Too many people assume that doctors can cope when the reality is that they can’t.”
The survey interviewed 1,000 GP staff across the UK, with many of those citing work as the most stressful area of their lives ahead of finance, health and relationships. More than 40 per cent of those who were surveyed said that they had considered resigning as a result of work-induced stress. However, Dr Onslow thinks that stress in the workplace is not solely linked to GP staff and that other workers in different professions are also suffering. She said: “It’s not to do with being a GP, I just think that as a society we need to become more resilient.
“However, in order to achieve that we need to invest in more support and making sure that we don’t displace each other. We are always in competition with each other and there needs to be a more collaborative effort, particularly between different section of the NHS.”
GP leaders across the the country claim that the survey shows that staff are being overworked and warn this could have a detrimental effect on patients.
Dr Maureen Baker, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, said: “The current state of general practice is pushing GPs to their limit, and a service that relies on sick and fatigued GPs is not good for patient safety.”
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the GP committee at the British Medical Association, said: “This poll reinforces that GPs and their staff are under unsustainable pressure because they are having to work long, intense hours on dwindling resources against a backdrop of rocketing patient demand.”
OXFORD United has challenged its Yellow Army to dig deep and get stuck into the #22PushUpChallenge to help raise money for a veterans mental health charity. Head coach Michael Appleton and the boys stepped up to the challenge to take on for 22 press ups. Joining them were soldiers Corporal Paul Ingham, Warrant Officer Danny Hirst, Captain Josh Conway and Corporal Jamie Dudding, who have been working with the club to fundraise for the Combat Stress as well as the Oxford United Community Trust.
Among the U s players and staff taking part was skipper John Lundstram, he said: “It only takes a few seconds to do the press ups but it helps get the message out there and we would love fans to get involved.
“Everyone saw the impact that the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ had a while back and this is another really good way of challenging your mates and having a bit of a laugh while actually doing great work for a great cause.”
The fundraising craze has been sweeping social media with many people uploading videos of themselves doing 22 push ups and donating to Combat Stress. The challenge hopes to raise awareness of PTSD and Combat Stress, with statistics showing 22 veterans commit suicide every day. The veterans charity works to support those up and down the country facing mental health problems.
The challenge originated from the United States and Oxford United took it on as part of its fundraising efforts with the army. The team most recently supported four soldiers taking on the 800-mile cycle in aid of both charities and upon return got stuck into the #22PushUpChallenge at the Kassam Stadium. Head coach Michael Appleton said: The whole club took part- coaches, players, backroom team and office staff because we all believe it’s a great cause.
“Our challenge then was to every Oxford fan out there to have a go, get involved and help spread the word.”
Cpl Ingham also took the opportunity to lay the gauntlet down to local rival Swindon Town and challenged them to take part too.
To take part post a video of your challenge on social media using the #22PushUpChallenge and donate 5 to Combat Stress by texting PTSD22 to 70004.