In April this year I was asked a random question…could you do over 3000 push-ups in a month? I said, “Why?”

From that initial question, it sparked a conversation about mental health and the “push for better foundation”. The “push up challenge” raises funds to support Mental health. The Push For Better Foundation aims to engage and educate people in mental and physical health, and raise awareness of the mental health issues affecting everyday Australians, I decided to do it for a couple of reasons,

  • Get fitter
  • Learn a little
  • Get involved in assisting a charity

Throughout the month of July while doing the challenge, participants are presented with statistics and helpful ways to deal with mental health… the amount of push ups per day represented a statistic in some way, day eight statistic shocked me.

Day 8: 209 push-ups

Of the 3,318 push-ups this year, 2,502 of them represent men who died by suicide in Australia in 2019. That’s over 75% of the total. It’s equal to about 209 men every month. Women experience mental health issues at higher rates than men, and report higher rates of suicidality. However, men are less likely to seek help for mental illness and are 3x more likely to die by suicide.

I had the easy bit, I could do my push-ups and get on with my daily activities without issue. For one in five Australians who experience mental ill-health issues this year, only 46% of people seek help. It’s a complex challenge – for ourselves, our loved ones, and, most of all, for the nine Australians who die by suicide every day.

Please start a conversation….