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Exercise challenge supporting veterans’ mental health to take place in Baker on Dec. 2-3

Published: November 29, 2021 Author: Isaac Miller

OHIO’S Veterans and Military Student Services Center will host an exercise challenge on Dec. 2 and 3 to help raise awareness about veteran suicide.

The challenge, which will take place in Baker University Center’s third floor atrium from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., is being hosted in partnership by the Veterans and Military Student Services Center with the Ohio University Student Veterans of America and OHIO’s Army and Air Force ROTC detachments. Everyone is encouraged to stop by and earn their place as an advocate for veterans.

Lt. Col. (Retired) Terry St. Peter, director of the OHIO Veterans and Military Student Services Center, said community members are being asked to help watch out for veterans in the community.

U.S. veterans voluntarily raised their hands and made a commitment to defend our freedoms that we enjoy every day,” St. Peter said. “This is our chance to demonstrate a commitment to say, ‘Bobcats Support Veterans.’”

Veteran Suicide Awareness 2

Attendees will be challenged to complete 17 push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups or any event of their choosing to represent the 17 veterans who die by suicide every day. Participants will receive a free #Stop17 T-shirt (while supplies last) after completing their chosen action 17 times.

“If you can accept the challenge to carry out 17 exercises of your choice in solidarity of the 17 veterans we lose every day, then you have taken the steps to show you care,” St. Peter said. “The next step will be to share that message with your friends and relatives.”

According to a report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 17 veterans die by suicide each day, down from 22 a few years ago. However, St. Peter said the pandemic and corresponding isolation have set conditions for an upward trend to rise again.