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Push-up challenge promotes connection

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Thousands of Australians will connect virtually to challenge themselves physically by attempting to complete a push-up challenge this month.

The challenge encourages participants to learn about mental health and help raise awareness of the 3,046 individuals in Australia whose lives were lost to suicide in 2018.

Local mental health organisation, headspace Newcastle is participating in the challenge, with their crew working to get fit, learn about mental health and raise funds for their service.

The team is encouraging young people, local businesses, gyms and clubs in the area to join them.

“The Push-Up Challenge is especially relevant during these COVID times,” headspace Newcastle Community Development Officer Byron Williams said.

“The initiative ties in with many of the messages headspace is trying to promote – stay active, keep connected and have fun and of course it creates awareness and draws attention to the issue of suicide and the real impact it has on our community.

“The best weapon we have against mental ill-health is each other and the connections we create as a community.”

With Australians currently experiencing disruption to their everyday lives, maintaining positive mental and physical health is a bigger issue than ever before.

The Push-Up Challenge founder Nick Hudson created the initiative three years ago after experiencing depression relating to major open-heart surgery.

“We are facing extraordinarily difficult times with the spread of coronavirus and mandated social isolation and now, more than ever, we believe in the power of online communities and the importance of keeping your mental health in check,” he said.

Each day as part of the challenge, participants get down and push-up, with the number of pushups each day changing to reflect a vital mental health statistic.

The challenge will go over 21 days, from Monday 11 to Sunday 31 May, and you can register as an individual or a team.  

In 2019, almost 50,000 participants got involved in The Push-Up Challenge, ranging in age from 11 to 64 years old and raising almost $2.5m for youth mental health services delivered through headspace.

Together, participants completed a total of 55 million push-ups – that is two for every Australian.

Registrations are now open, go to The Push-Up Challenge website for more.

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