25 Push-Ups 25 Days: Suicide Awareness

By Krista Ritz
Jambar Contributor

The Andrews Wellness Recreation Center at Youngstown State University challenged students to complete 25 push-ups for 25 days to raise awareness for National Suicide Prevention month, which was in September. 

Anne Lally, assistant director of counseling services at Youngstown State University, said research is just beginning to show the influence of COVID-19 on mental health issues.

Since many students suffer with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues, Lally said,  YSU’s counseling services office is very busy.

Lally said the requests by YSU students for counseling services remains steady this year, and the chief complaint is anxiety.

Veterans, along with students, suffer from mental health issues as well and seek services to provide additional support. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, veteran suicide rates have increased fr

Fitness group, F3, meet in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, to participate in 25 Push-Ups for 25 Days. Photo courtesy of Noah “Bean” Barilaro

“With COVID, we’ve definitely seen a broader range of reasons why people are coming [to the centers]. We’re seeing an increase in people with anxiety. Loneliness is a huge issue for the fact that what keeps people safe is what keeps people isolated,” Do said.

Many veterans, he said, come to the VA for primary care or mental health. 

“The VA, as a whole, has gone through a whole health approach. We’re not just looking at the condition, we’re looking at the whole person,” Do said. 

He recommends the veterans’ crisis line for veterans and student veterans suffering from thoughts of suicide and depression. The hotline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK.

Ryan McNicholas, associate director of campus recreation, oversees fitness and wellness programs. McNicholas found this challenge helpful to people looking to stay active while supporting people suffering from mental health issues. 

Staying active not only improves mental health, McNicholas said, but also helps improve physical health.

“Chemicals in your brain are released when you’re doing exercise that helps make you feel better; that makes you happier,” McNicholas said. “I am a full proponent of ‘a body in motion stays in motion,’ so you’ll be active longer, which will improve your quality of life.” 

Students should visit ysu.edu/student-counseling-services for more information.

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