Push up challenge underway

PUSH UP CHALLENGE: headspace Mount Gambier's social work placement student Sophie Gibbs and centre manager Tasja Beralds cheer on therapeutic youth worker Adam Smith and community liaison worker Nick McInerney. Picture: CHARLOTTE VARCOE.

Charlotte Varcoe

STAFF at headspace Mount Gambier will be pushed to the limit as they take part in the annual Push Up Challenge.

Beginning in June, the fitness challenge allows participants to take on 3249 push-ups across 24 days while also putting the spotlight on mental health.

The number remains significant to the cause with it being the number of lives lost to suicide in Australia in 2022.

Those taking part in the challenge will complete a set number of push ups each day between June 5 and 28 with each day’s number coinciding with a particular mental health statistic.

headspace Mount Gambier community liaison worker Nick McInerney said the challenge was a good opportunity for people to raise awareness around mental health and keep the conversations on the radar.

“It combines that mental health awareness with physical activity and also the fundraising element which is a bonus,” Mr McInerney said.

“It is also flexible and adaptable to work with whatever people need so it does not have to be push ups.”

He said funds could be raised through other means of physical activity with participants also having the option of working in a team.

“The importance of physical exercise for mental wellbeing is proven and is really beneficial,” Mr McInerney said.

“It is a good way for people to engage and keep that front of mind as well.”

He said the community support over the years also remained positive with participants having the option for their funds to go straight to the local headspace centre.

“Each year when we have been involved it did continue to grow and provide support for us at a local level,” he said.

“Our community is quite proud and really supportive of local initiatives and it is important to note that anyone that does participate in this event can nominate to raise funds directly for headspace Mount Gambier which keeps that money locally and goes back into initiatives and programs for local youth which is really important as well.”

headspace Mount Gambier centre manager Tasja Barelds said the challenge was a great opportunity for Australians to talk about their mental health and learn how to support each other while also recognising when they may need to put their own hand up for help.

“We know the push-up challenge is going to be a lot of fun and we’re looking forward to connecting with our local community throughout June,” Ms Beralds said.

“headspace is proud to be trusted by young people and their families in Mount Gambier, and the

funds raised through the push-up challenge will help us continue to support their mental health and wellbeing.”

The challenge is a free event with people able to register as an individual or a team online.