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Byron Shire
September 26, 2023

Pushing-Up for mental health in June

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The Push-Up Challenge is set to go for 2023.

Australia’s largest fitness-based mental health event, The Push-Up Challenge, is back in 2023, encouraging Australians to push for better mental health.

Participants will take on 3,144 push-ups across 23 days in June, putting the spotlight on the tragic number of lives lost to suicide in Australia in 2021.

Thousands of Australians from all ages and walks of life participate in the event which engages people in mental health through connection, physical activity and education.

Founder of The Push-Up Challenge, Nick Hudson, said The Push-Up Challenge is a great way to get fit, connect with your community and do something positive for your mental health, all while honouring lives tragically lost to suicide.

Everyone will likely experience a mental health issue

‘It’s likely everyone will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives, so by pushing up and learning about mental health, we hope to break down the stigma attached to mental illness so that Australians don’t think twice about reaching out for help.’

The Push-Up Challenge is a free event, and participants can choose to fundraise and support beneficiary partners Lifeline or Movember, or the charity which runs the event, Push for Better Foundation.

Fundraising is an optional part of the event.

‘With our focus on mental health education, Lifeline’s 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services, and Movember’s focus on prevention and early intervention, we’ll build on our work that engages Australians in a holistic conversation about mental health,’ said Mr Hudson.

A destination for help

Colin Seery, CEO of Lifeline Australia said more and more, Lifeline is being seen as the destination for help. ‘We have up to 4000 contacts a day to our voice and text helplines and more than 26,000 searches for our toolkits and community services in January alone, Australians are reaching out in record numbers.

‘The Push-Up Challenge is a powerful campaign in removing barriers to help seeking and expanding conversations and improving your own mental health whilst encouraging connection with your friends and family.

‘Funds raised through The Push-Up Challenge will ensure Lifeline’s critical crisis support and suicide prevention service are accessible to anyone who needs them – anytime, anywhere and in the way those who need support feel most comfortable approaching.’

In 2022, over 153,000 participants completed 190 million push-ups and raised over $10 million for mental health.

We lose more than six men to suicide every single day

Rachel Carr, APAC Country Director at Movember, said we continue to lose more than six men to suicide every single day in Australia, with men accounting for 3 out of 4 national suicides.

‘We know that a lot of those men are looking for support. In fact, up to 50  of the men who die by suicide have been in contact with a mental health service prior to their death.

‘Sadly, they often slip through the cracks because we don’t have targeted mental health and suicide prevention programs to adequately assist them. The funds raised through initiatives like The Push-Up Challenge will help Movember deliver lifesaving early intervention and prevention programs like “Men In Mind”, an online professional training program that aims to upskill therapists and help them engage men in therapy more effectively.

‘Giving therapists tools and strategies to identify and respond to depression and suicidality in men.

Grateful to the Mo community

‘We’re so grateful to our Mo community and events like The Push-Up Challenge for making programs like this possible, and we’re stoked to be back for another incredible year.’

Participants of all ages and abilities push-up while learning about mental health, with the number of daily push-ups changing to reflect a vital mental health fact.

Participants can opt to take on the full push-up target (3,144 in total) or if that feels out of reach, the half option (1572 in total). These can also be done as sit-ups, squats or alternative exercises.

Progress is tracked by logging push-ups through a dedicated app. You can register for The Push-Up Challenge as an individual, a team, or get your whole workplace, club, gym or school involved at www.thepushupchallenge.com.au.

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