Push-Ups for a Purpose

Posted 03/13/2019 | By HealthCorps

Two years ago, in September 2016, I did my first suicide awareness programming at Tishomingo High School with our students.

“We did a wall of HOPE, posting encouraging messages to classmates, and had students participate in the 22 push-up challenge, for the 22 veterans a day that commit suicide. My goal was to get our football team that year to publicly participate in the challenge … It never happened.”

My position with HealthCorps is funded by The Chickasaw Nation. The non-profit focuses their involvement in high schools around the country to three main areas of wellness: nutrition, physical activity, and mental resilience.

Even though I didn’t reach my goal two years ago, I’m proud of what has happened since that September. “We’ve since had anti-bullying presentations and initiatives, suicide awareness training for our teachers during in-service, suicide prevention talks in our school’s classrooms, a school that has withstood many storms in my time here, and, the icing on the cake, a stadium and field clad in purple and teal this Friday to participate in the 22 push-up challenge!”

The Johnston County Health and Wellness Committee collaborated with the school to host Friday’s pre-game activities, including equipping fans with local resources.

Pictured below, Deanna Carpitche, of The Chickasaw Nation’s Prevention Services, invites fans to Saturday’s Walk for Life, suicide awareness event at the Capitol grounds.

“I am sure grateful I’ve had the privilege to linger with this school and community a little longer and experience the dream coming to pass. Change is slow, but it’s an awfully beautiful process!”

Erica Sun is a health coordinator for HealthCorps

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