Tom Campbell and Jennifer Ibe are mid-way through their HSC exams, but they say it's manageable because they have newly-acquired skills to keep their mental health in check. It's all about mindfulness, exercising, talking to each other, and knowing where to get resources and help. The former St John's Dubbo students are ambassadors for The Push-Up Challenge, a campaign which challenges students in years 10, 11 and 12 to get fit, have fun and push for better mental health. READ ALSO: 'Non-judgemental': Free men's exercise group boosts mental health Students aim to complete 3,249 push-ups over three weeks - either solo or in a team - putting a spotlight on the number of lives lost to suicide in 2022. Tom, who is 18 years old, said he wanted to push for better mental health in the school community during exams. "I feel like a lot of people are under pressure ... so it's just good to know you can talk to people and ... there are resources out there for you," Tom told the Daily Liberal. Jennifer, 17, said there was still a long way to go to cast off the stigma around mental health and mental illness. "We're more aware of it now but it's still very hard to talk about it out loud and try and get help for it. Like, people are really scared to admit that they need help," Jennifer said. She said there had been a lot of conversations in her friend group in the lead-up to exams about how some individuals were stressed to the point of feeling sick "because you just feel like the well-being is plummeting". READ ALSO: Lifeline says conversations about mental health can save lives Through being an ambassador for the challenge, Jennifer learnt the link between mental health and exercise, as well as about the breadth of resources out there - such as Lifeline and Beyond Blue - that she and her friends can draw on. "I thought you had to find a psychologist and that's it. But, for example, with the Kids Helpline you can actually text on the website and find that kind of support," she said. Tom said the challenge made him realise how much happier and healthier he felt after exercise, and how it can help you if you are struggling with mental health. He said he "loved" being an ambassador for The Push-Up Challenge and he would encourage others to "just do it". "There's not a lot of work involved but the work involved is so rewarding and it's just so worth seeing how you can get involved and get others involved in it as well," Tom said. Jennifer recalled one day during the challenge, when she noticed a group of boys doing push-ups in a circle at lunchtime to meet their target. "I thought that was really fun just seeing how much they got out of it," she said. Challenge participants also raise money for mental health charities and the St John's school community raised $1300 for Movember and The Push For Better Foundation. IN OTHER NEWS The Push-Up Challenge is looking for ambassadors for the 2024 challenge, to lead their school's push for better mental health. Students anywhere in Australia can apply to lead their school mates, teachers and the school community in the challenge by cheering them on to get fit, have fun and learn about mental health. Students will be equipped with mental health awareness training, resources and leadership support to coordinate The Push-Up Challenge at their school. Find out more and apply to take part at www.thepushupchallenge.com.au Reading this on mobile web? Download our news app here. It's faster, easier to read and we'll send you alerts for breaking news as it happens.