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2,000 push-ups in 23 days: Are you up for the challenge, Ottawa?

The Push-Up Challenge and the Ottawa branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA Ottawa) rally the support of the nation’s capital in their push for better mental health this February

This February, CMHA Ottawa is encouraging locals to push for better mental health by participating in fitness-based mental health initiative, The Push-Up Challenge.

The February event has participants taking on 2,000 push-ups to represent the 20 per cent of Canadians who will suffer from mental illness in any given year. The event begins on Thursday, February 1, 2024, and runs for 23 days.

Canadians of all ages and walks of life will participate in the event, which engages people in mental health awareness through connection, physical activity and education.

“The Push-Up Challenge is a great way for the people in Ottawa to get fit, connect with their community and do something positive for their mental health, and support the Canadians who experience mental illness each year,” said Dr Susan Farrell, CEO of CMHA Ottawa. “Everyone has mental health and it’s likely we all will experience a mental health issue at some point in our lives. By pushing up and learning about it, we hope to break down the stigma attached to mental illness so that Canadians don’t think twice about reaching out for help.”

The Push-Up Challenge is a free event, and fundraising is optional. Participants can choose to fundraise and support the Ottawa branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, the National office, or any CMHA branch or division across the country.

Funds raised for CMHA Ottawa will go toward its Recovery College, which offers clients of the branch free courses on topics that support their wellness such as Challenging Isolation and Loneliness, Connecting with Nature, Coping with Triggers, Developing Self-Compassion, Empowered in Your Home, and others.

Participants of all ages and abilities will push-up while learning about mental health, with the number of daily push-ups changing to reflect a vital mental health fact. Alternatives to push-ups are also encouraged, such as sit-ups, squats or other alternative exercises. Progress can be tracked through logging progress through a dedicated app which also allows you to easily fundraise and see how your mates are going with the event.

The Push-Up Challenge has been taking place in Australia for the past seven years, with more than 500,000 participants completing 900 million push-ups and raising more than $36 million for mental health. 2024 marks the first time the event will take place Canada, run by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

You can register for The Push-Up Challenge as an individual, a team, or get your whole workplace, club, gym or school involved at www.thepushupchallenge.ca.

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Founded by Nick Hudson in Australia in 2017, The Push-Up Challenge (TPUC) began as a challenge between four friends and has grown to become Australia’s largest mental health and fitness event. 2024 is TPUC’s first year in Canada, where individuals will complete 2,000 push-ups over 23 days in February to raise awareness about mental health. TPUC is a fun way for Canadians to connect with one another, get fit, and learn about mental health, with participants encouraged to raise money for the Canadian Mental Health Association. The event is free to take part in and runs from 1-23 February 2024. For more information and to register, visit www.thepushupchallenge.ca.

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Ottawa Branch (CMHA Ottawa), is an independent, community-based non-profit organization that provides services for eligible individuals in the Ottawa area with severe and persistent mental illness and/or substance use disorder, many of whom are experiencing chronic homelessness or are vulnerably housed. CMHA Ottawa is dedicated to promoting good mental health, developing and implementing sustainable support systems and services, and encouraging public action to strengthen community mental health services and related policies and legislation.

Media contact: Patrick Jodoin, Manager of Communications and Stakeholder Relations, [email protected], 613-737-7791 ext. 135

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