25 Press Up Challenge for PTSD Awareness Month
June is PTSD Awareness Month and so the 25 Press Up Challenge is back! Find out more about how to get involved here!
The National Centre for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the USA designated June as PTSD Awareness Month – a month dedicated to raising awareness of PTSD and C-PTSD, and we felt it about time that ‘PTSD Awareness Month’ was recognised more in the UK too!
Whilst it’s important this this is done year-round (and that’s what we do!) having a focus like this, where hundreds or thousands of people around the country (and in fact to the world!) are collectively working together, can make a real impact, so we’re so proud to have you on board!
People spreading the word about the causes, symptoms and treatments available for PTSD and C-PTSD raise the volume even higher on the International PTSD Awareness Day – 27th June – which is when we’re launching our new book to mark the occasion! But if you’d like to get involved in our month long challenge, then please read on!
25 Press Ups
This years PTSD Awareness Month challenge sees the return of the 25 Press Up Challenge! Whilst the format is simple, it’s not necessarily a simple ask!
To be part of the challenge, and really help raise awareness all you need to do is:
- 25 press ups each day
- Ideally you’ll put a video or some photos of you on your social media platforms doing them (don’t forget to tag us @PTSDuk and our channels!
- Perhaps you’ll say a piece to camera, or have some information in your post about the causes, symptoms or treatments of PTSD or C-PTSD – or maybe you’ll even feel comfortable sharing some of your own story, or reasons why you’re supporting PTSD UK and our mission.
- Nominate your friends to join you throughout the month too! Even if they join you (virtually or in person!) for one day – you’ve helped spread the world further, and you never know who you might reach who might need our vital services and resources.
- Then, at the end of the month – celebrate your achievement! If you managed a day, a week or the whole month straight, you’ve done a great thing and not only have you helped support and inspire others, hopefully you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment in yourself too!
Why is raising awareness important?
Research shows that 10% of people will experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at some point in their lifetime – but it’s estimated that up to 70% of people with PTSD & C-PTSD in the UK do not receive any professional help at all:
- Some people may realise they are struggling to cope after trauma, but are unaware they have PTSD or C-PTSD. They may feel that their symptoms are just part of their life now – even if they’re debilitating and affecting every part of their life.
- For others who have a diagnosis, they may not know that treatments to help them recover are available. Just over a decade ago, people still thought that PTSD and C-PTSD were incurable conditions, but more recent evidence and research proves it is possible for PTSD and C-PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the trauma occurred – but the treatment options for PTSD & C-PTSD are not as well-known as they need to be.
- Additionally, people with PTSD & C-PTSD are often misdiagnosed as they can develop additional disorders such as depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other problems of physical and mental health. These ‘co-morbid’ conditions are what gets diagnosed, and the PTSD & C-PTSD is left to get worse in many cases.
- For many people however, they’re simply unable to articulate how they feel, or feel able to reach out for help.
This is why raising awareness about the causes, symptoms and treatments available for PTSD and C-PTSD is vital, and the Press Up Challenge can help with that!
If I want to, can I fundraise too?
Of course! Thank you! If you’d like to fundraise as part of this challenge, then you’ll be achieving doubly! Any money you do raise will go towards our mission to help support EVERYONE in the Uk affected by PTSD or C-PTSD, so thank you!
How you collect and fundraise is up to you – you could set up a fundraising page on an online platform such as Total Giving, Facebook, or Just Giving – they help you see your total, make it easy for your sponsors to add Gift Aid to their donations, and the money raised will get sent straight to us. Please do send us a link to your page when you have a moment too!
So, I’m ready to get started… now what?
As with any any fitness based event, you should check with a medical professional around your suitability to take part. Doing 25 Press Ups each day isn’t for everyone after all. Alternatives to push-ups are welcome (like sit-ups, squats etc) and we encourage you to mix things up a little during the event if you need to. Please be safe and take care of yourself during the event.
Set up your phone or camera where you can film yourself – and remember, nobody is looking for perfection! Your ‘form’ doesn’t matter* (as long as it’s not doing you damage), it doesn’t matter if you only manage 1 press up, if you need to do them from your knees that’s ok, and if you’re huffing and puffing all the way along then keep going! Red and sweaty faces are welcome here!
Be sure to spread your push-ups out over the day to make it easier – only start doing them in full sets of 25 when you feel comfortable.
*To ensure you don’t hurt yourself though, please seek professional advice on the best way to do a press up. You want to avoid sagging at the hips to help prevent any lower back pain, whilst also ensuring that the tummy muscles are switching on. If you are feeling tight or sore through the shoulders, then remember to do some light stretching too – but above all STOP at any point if you’re in pain.
I can’t do Press Ups, but I’d like to be involved – what can I do?
With an initiative like this, we find it’s better for people to have a focus, so that’s why we’ve named the challenge The 25 Press Ups Challenge – but if 10 is a big enough challenge for you, or if you’d rather do squats or minutes running, then there is no right or wrong way to get involved really – it all helps raise awareness!
That said too, if physical challenges are not you’re thing, then you can still get involved in raising awareness and supporting PTSD Awareness Month – perhaps choose something else you can challenge yourself to do for the month, or you could also:
- Follow PTSD UK on our Facebook and Instagram pages
- Share our social media posts to your friends
- Blog, or talk to your friends about PTSD – what it is and why you think it needs to be talked about more
- Sign up for our PTSD UK Newsletter
- Organise a fundraiser, or information day for your local community
- Purchase and wear something from our PTSD UK Online Supporters Store!
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Treatments for PTSD
It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help. For some, the first step may be watchful waiting, then exploring therapeutic options such as individual or group therapy – but the main treatment options in the UK are psychological treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting and understanding your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD. You can find out more in the links below, or here.