As you already know, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the US by the storm. Celebrity’s and politicians have been soaked into this challenge as well! Amyotrophic lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The ALS challenge consists of pouring an iced bucket of water over yourself then nominating others to accept the challenge and donate to the ALS research charity. These challenges have opened opportunities for people to learn about the ALS disease. The awareness has spread all over the United States allowing people to take action on finding a cure. As the world watches videos of millions accepting the challenge, one can only wonder what can we learn from this experience?

Here are 3 Coping Skills we learned from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: 

  1. Acceptance: This challenge has been successful on promoting awareness for ALS. This viral campaign has allowed for many people to learn about the disease and better understand what people diagnosed with ALS are going through. This challenge allowed for people to be able to come forward and accept they have the disease and be accepted within the community. It is very difficult to deal with this life adversity and diagnoses and more difficult to accept them. In order to be able to cope with any situation, one must first accept the situation and not feel fear of rejection or judgement.
  2. Encouragement: The ALS challenge has encouraged many people to take action and raise awareness. It took one person’s courage to make this huge difference. Encouragement is necessary when coping with hard situations. The ability to turn a negative into a positive is a great coping skill but not an easy one.
  3. Support: The challenge had the ability to get a community together for one cause. Finding support is essential to any situation we may be going through. It allows to see that you are not alone. When faced with a serious problem, it is normal to want to isolate. The amount of support the challenge has created has allowed many families to feel hope and not give up!

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Author Mayeling Angelastro, MA is a Bilingual Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern providing help to couples, families, couples, children and teenagers with offices in Orlando and East Orlando.  (407) 248-0030