Mental health has received a push-up thanks to a challenge that raised money for local youth mental health initiatives.

The Push-Up Challenge 2020 saw headspace Newcastle bring awareness to suicide rates and raise more than $29,000 for its programs.

Across the Hunter region more than 300 people participated, with 40 local teams completing 373,578 push ups.

“We were completely blown away by the support of the Newcastle community,” headspace Newcastle Community Development Officer Byron Williams said.

“To know that there’s a heap of people out there who are passionate about mental health is inspirational.”

headspace Newcastle Community Development Officer Byron Williams completed the challenge last month.

The challenge ran over three weeks and encouraged participants to complete 3,046 push-ups to acknowledge the 3,046 individuals in Australia who died by suicide in 2018.

More than 130,000 participants raised $5 million for headspace services around the country, sparking tens of thousands of conversations about mental health.

Challenge founder, Nick Hudson created the initiative after experiencing depression relating to major open-heart surgery.  

In four years the challenge has grown from four mates to a nationwide event, pushing for better mental health.

“I am blown away by the number of participants who supported our event, the generosity of everyone who donated during this difficult time, and local communities who rallied behind their local headspace centres,” Mr Hudson said.

Participants came from all walks of life, ranging from school children to a 91-year-old great grandmother.

Each day, participants exercised while learning about mental health, as the number of push-ups changed day-to-day to reflect a vital mental health statistic.

For example, one day the challenge called for 120 push-ups because research has shown that 60-120 minutes of moderate exercise per week can improve symptoms of depression and help maintain a healthy headspace.

Donations are being collected until Monday 29 June, visit The Push-Up Challenge website for more information.

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