I'm Pushing To #StopSoldierSuicide, And You Should Too

I'm Pushing To #StopSoldierSuicide, And You Should Too

Twenty-two a day is 22 too many.
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Between February 5 and February 26, 2018, my fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi, is sponsoring a nationwide campaign to advocate, volunteer and fundraise for the veteran's organization Stop Soldier Suicide. The campaign is split into three weeks, with each week having its own national goal for Stop Soldier Suicide.

Stop Soldier Suicide is the first national nonprofit organization that focuses on the prevention of veteran suicide. Veterans are 22% more likely to commit suicide than people who have not served, and the systems in place cannot keep up with the demand for help. So in 2010, Brian Kinsella, Nick Black, and Craig Gridelli founded Stop Soldier Suicide to help deal with the financial stress, soldier-to-civilian transitioning, and offer various mental health services.

Alpha Delta Phi's national campaign benefitting Stop Soldier Suicide takes the form of the Brothers in Arms Challenge. Over the course of 22 days, we lead a national awareness and fundraising challenge between our chapters at various colleges in the country to see who can raise the most money for Stop Soldier Suicide.

Why 22 days? Every day, 22 veterans and 1 active duty soldier take their own lives, a shocking reality of a nationwide epidemic that we intend to help relieve. Donations help provide mental health services, emergency financial aid, housing assistance, therapy, education and veteran bonding programs.



Week 1 is about advocacy, where we focus on engaging with campus personnel and students to raise awareness about what Stop Soldier Suicide is.

Week 2 is about volunteering, where we reach out to our community to work with veterans and any association that wants to help further the cause of helping veterans.

Week 3 is about fundraising, pushing for events to help raise money for the ultimate cause.

Some brothers, like myself, take it upon themselves to do the #BIAChallenge, where they do 22 push-ups a day for 22 days. Because of my connection to weightlifting, I put a personal twist on it and instead do 22 exercises, at 22 reps, for 22 days. The exercises are as follows:

So, what can you do to help? If you want to read more about what Stop Soldier Suicide is, you can find their website here. Additionally, you can always check out my Instagram page to see videos of some of the rep challenges I am doing here

Finally, the link to donate to our fundraising page to directly benefit Stop Soldier Suicide can be found by clicking here. Our goal as a fraternity is to raise enough money to connect each one of our brothers with their own veteran to provide support for an entire year. The Alabama Chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi consistently is one of the best donators in the country and with your help, you can help give back to our veterans.

Manus multae cor unum.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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Depression Is A Balancing Act That Is And Isn't In Our Control

Managing depression can sometimes feel overwhelming.

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*Warning: Before reading any further is that this article will be talking about heavy topics such as depression and suicide.*

Depression in this day and age is a very sticky topic to talk about. Yes, we are becoming more aware and accepting of the issue, but we still have a long ways to go in terms of really know how we can be there for people in a way that's most effective and where they don't feel judged because of it.

I have dealt with depression most of my life and especially going through college. It didn't become a big thing for me till I came to college, and then having to navigate my issue of it. Whether that's talking about it friends vaguely about it, bottling it all in, going for professional help, etc. It's one of the many reasons why I'm afraid of meeting someone new, or wanting to be in a relationship, I was afraid of the judgment and feeling that if I told someone they either might not want to do anything with me, say it's too much for them, etc.

Now some of those fears, in my opinion, were unjustified in a sense that yes even though it is important for people to be there for me in my time of need, I need to be conscious of how much I share and whether they can take that piece of me I shared. It's a balancing act that is hard to manage, but it allows me for a much-needed look into myself of what actually makes me happy, what doesn't, what triggers my depression and going out of my way to make sure I don't let it take control of me.

The depression took me to places, very dark places that I'm happy to have push through, with my depression it made my thoughts go into suicidal ideation, and even hurting myself, an act that I never thought I would ever do but thankfully I had people in my life that helped me overcome that and going to talk to a professional.

Depression is a mental health issue that most everyone struggles with regardless of where they're at in life, it can come like a tidal wave, or not at all. It's an internal struggle with ourselves, and we do our best trying to get through it. I know that I'm not alone in this, and if you're reading this you're not alone either.

Don't be afraid to talk about it, but be mindful of other people and how much you can share in order for them to be able to process it, go for professional help, exercise, hang out with friends. Don't let depression fully control your life, it won't go away but if we can manage it in a way that helps us be able to keep it under control then that's a win.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

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