Lifeline is encouraging Central Coast residents and businesses to push (up) for better mental health in this year’s national Push-Up Challenge 2022.
And Lifeline Central Coast CEO, Rob Sams, is leading by example.
From June 1, Challenge participants will try to complete 3,139 push-ups over 24 days while raising funds for Lifeline.
Sams, who will do the challenge himself, said there was evidence of the positive connection between physical and mental health, so anyone doing the challenge could make a difference to their own lives while helping other Central Coast residents.
“The Push-Up Challenge is a great way to stay connected, get fitter, learn about mental health and have a bit of fun,” he said.
“Every dollar will go to local suicide prevention services and support.
“The 3,139 push-ups isn’t a random number. That’s how many Australians died by suicide in 2020. Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44.”
Sams said local Lifeline centres relied on revenue from its local shops, as well as fundraising events such as the Challenge, to keep services running.
“Lifeline’s staff and volunteers are here to make sure no-one has to face their darkest moments alone,” he said.
“Many in our community are doing it tough right now. We’re experiencing more demand for crisis support and our free face-to-face and online counselling calls to 13 11 14 are up 25 per cent since the pandemic started.
“Every year, Lifeline answers more than one million requests for support nationally. We receive a call or text to our 13 11 14 crisis support service every 30 seconds.
If full push-ups are too hard, people can do kneeling or wall push-ups, sit-ups, squats or star jumps.
“The number of push-ups required each day varies,” Sams said. “For people in crisis or experiencing mental ill health, some days are more challenging than others.
The Push-Up Challenge was started in 2017 and run by The Push For Better Foundation. Lifeline and Movember are this year’s beneficiaries. More than 174,000 Australians took the challenge last year.
For more information visit thepushupchallenge.com.au.
To support Sams or another participant, or to take the Challenge yourself, visit thepushupchallenge.com.au/beneficiary/lifeline-central-coast-nsw.
Lifeline support is available by phone (13 11 14), text (0477 13 11 14) or online chat at lifeline.org.au.
For free face-to-face or online counselling, contact 1300 152 854 or lifelinehunter.org.au.
Media release, May 23
Lifeline Central Coast