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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Counseling and Wellness Center counselor honors family and military with pushups

After 22 days, Geoff Lee did his last set of pushups at UF’s on Monday.

Lee, a senior staff psychologist at the CWC, began the challenge Sept. 12 after a colleague encouraged him to partake in the 22 Pushup Challenge campaign to educate others about the average number of military veterans who commit suicide each day.

Other CWC staff members joined Lee and tried their hands at the challenge. The group recorded a video celebrating the last day of Lee’s challenge.

Lee said the 22 days of doing pushups gave him a chance to teach staff and students about suicide prevention awareness.

“I was sore; it was a challenge,” he said. “I can’t tell you the last time I did more than 20 pushups. I struggled with it, but I was committed to it.”

Lee recorded videos in his office, where he would introduce a statistic, fact or myth about suicide before doing a set of pushups.

For 22 days, Lee said he was able to honor his brother and father, who served in the military, and his family members who were affected by suicide. He said he hoped that by filming the videos in the office he worked in most of the day, he would give students a chance to see him as more than just a counselor.

“I wanted people to see me doing my thing in the midst of the work that I do — as a real person,” he said.

Meggen Sixbey, the associate director of the CWC, said she knew Lee would complete the challenge.

“He totally took it on and recorded himself every day,” she said. “It was just neat to see him take it on.”

Sixbey said she believes the videos will help remind students about the resources available at the center and the center’s effort to tell others about suicide prevention.

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