SWEAT OUT STIGMA: Richard Chew and Adam Osbourne from St George Police are participating in the Push Up Challenge this July.
SWEAT OUT STIGMA: Richard Chew and Adam Osbourne from St George Police are participating in the Push Up Challenge this July. Emma Dohle

3128 reasons to push for better mental health this July

IF YOU see the men and women in blue out on the street breaking a sweat, it's all in the name of breaking a stigma.

For three weeks, 12 police officers from St George will perform hundreds of push-ups each day, until they've completed 3128, representing the number of lives lost to suicide in Australia in 2017.

Spearheaded by Sergeant Steven Love, the money raised will go to Headspace.

"We hope to promote fitness, mental health and community spirit while raising funds for a worthy cause,” he said.

"Donations to our team will help Headspace to continue promoting the importance of seeking help, breaking down the stigma of mental health, and making sure every young Australian knows they are not alone.”

Police Liaison Officer Adam Osbourne said it was an opportunity to get the community talking about an issue that was very close to the town.

"Mental health and suicide are quite stigmatised around St George, and we can reflect on the need for promoting mental health in the area,” he said.

"It's good for people in the town to see us outside the station - and also it's a great chance to get the conversation going.”

Each day, participants will perform between 115 and 230 push ups to reach their target.

"We are appealing to anyone in town to please consider donating to us. We're willing to come to businesses or farms and do push-ups in front of their offices or gates,” Osbourne said.

"There are a fair number of other police stations involved around the state, but we want to be number one.

"We will have donation tins with us when we're out doing our daily push-ups in town, or donations can be made into the tin at the station, at some of the local hotels, the bakery, at council and also online. "Already we have a few photos of us at the gun club, at Yellowbelly Festival, and some local hotels and establishments.”

To donate, pop into St George Police Station on Saint Georges Terrace, or visit https://www.thepushup challenge.com.au/team /2589-st-george-station and follow the links.

If you or anyone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.