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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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

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

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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If You Want To Die Tonight, Please Read This

I want you to live. More importantly, I want you to want to live.

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

Drowning.

Drowning.

Drowning.

Drowning.

The thoughts are deafening, screaming at you that the world would be better off without you and that no one would care if you were gone.

So, you find yourself on the Internet, searching for ways to die in a relatively painless way that will leave the least amount of mess for others. You find yourself thinking about the bridge a half mile from your house or the assortment of pills lining the walls of your medicine cabinet. You remember that your roommates will not be home from class for a few hours; that you are totally alone.

And then, in your Internet search for ways to finally escape the pain, you happen upon this article.

Yes, this one right here.

This one telling you to stay.

And, well, you find yourself still reading along because a piece of you, even if it is the smallest piece of your existence, wants a reason to live.

* * *

I am not sure what is causing you pain, and maybe you honestly are not sure either. All you know is that you have this pain — this never-ending pain — and it's become enough.

Society tells us that we need to tattoo a smile onto our faces and pretend that everything is OK even when we are aching on the inside. If you take one thing away from this article, I want you to remember this — it is OK not to be OK. It is OK if you are not OK today or tomorrow or next week or a year from now. However, one day, it will be a little better and there will be a little bit of sunshine peeking out through the clouds.

I want you to live. More importantly, I want you to want to live.

And, sometimes, wanting to live is about just noticing the little things that make you happy and remembering them.

Like the way the sun looks glistening off of the lake by your house at 5:47 p.m. on a Thursday evening.

Or the way the scent of your coffee creeps up your nostrils while it cools to a drinkable temperature.

Or the fact that a new episode of your family's favorite show is coming on this Thursday.

Or the way your Lush bath bomb colors your water into beautiful shades of blue and green and yellow and pink.

Or the dinner your Mom cooked for tonight to share with you, your Dad, and your sister.

* * *

Life may not turn out how you plan, but perhaps that is not a bad thing.

God has a plan for you.

Why the plan involves you feeling this way, I do not know, but I do know that God did not bring you into this world to suffer.

You deserve help.

You deserve love.

You deserve to be supported.

Even if you feel alone, I promise you are never alone.

You can text "Hello" to 741-741 at any hour of the day and someone will be there to support you.

* * *

So, tonight while you want to die, please just think about the last time you smiled so hard that your face physically hurt or laughed until you almost peed. Just think about a time that you felt something besides what you are feeling now and hold onto it.

Hold onto it, lie down, and go to sleep.

And wake up tomorrow knowing that you are a survivor.

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