Schools, sporting clubs, and volunteer groups across Ararat Rural City are participating in The Push-Up Challenge to raise awareness for mental health and wellbeing.
The challenge is an Australia-wide initiative that runs from June 1-25. It pushes participants and groups to complete a designated number of push-ups each day. These numbers are based on mental health-related facts, such as the average number of calls Lifeline receives per hour (120) and the average number of Australian men who die to suicide each month (209).
Funds raised from the challenge are shared between Headspace, Lifeline, and The Push For Better Foundation.
Seven teachers from Ararat College have formed a group to join in the challenge.
Andy Reynolds is one of these participants and said his fellow teachers were eager to support the cause.
"We're doing it mainly to raise awareness about mental health. Being teachers in a rural town mental health is a big thing and looking after mental health is a big passion for all of us," he said.
"If we raise a bit money along the way we're happy to do that as well. Whatever we raise is a bonus, it's more about getting the message out."
Nevertheless, as of Wednesday, June 9, the group has already raised more than $300.
Ararat Football Netball Club has also formed a group for the challenge.
Nick Oliver, a recent recruit at the club, instigated the club's participation in the challenge.
Mr Oliver said it was valuable for the players to know there was support available for anyone battling mental illness.
"Most of the guys who are playing are sort of 20, or 21, so I've really appreciated being around all these young enthusiastic guys. My motivation for getting them involved was partly the team bonding thing and also to help reassure them that they can be confident there are people and support for them," he said.
"The Ararat Football Club has been fantastic since I've been involved, and they just jumped on board with this straight away.
"When we return to training we'll incorporate it into our training regime and do so we'll pump out some push-ups and get behind the cause."
To help Ararat Football Netball Club in its fundraising efforts, visit www.thepushupchallenge.com.au/team/21553-ararat-rat-pack.
To support Ararat College's fundraising efforts, head to www.thepushupchallenge.com.au/team/8998-mjollnir.
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