"Push-up challenge needs an upgrade" - Mr G

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Multi-media artist Graham Hoete, known as Mr G, is encouraging people to take the push-up challenge a little further, by actually reaching out and checking in with friends and whānau.

Mr G has uploaded a video to his social media platforms that addresses the push-up challenge and explains why he thinks it ‘needs an upgrade’.

Mr G on 25 push-up challenge - Video / Mr G Facebook

The original challenge encourages people to do 25 push-ups for 25 days, as a way to help raise awareness for things such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety and depression.

While he supports the initiative, Mr G says, “We’re wasting our time, if we’re not actually helping those people.”

Mr G is encouraging people to put more than just muscle into the challenge of raising awareness and create a behavioural shift by connecting through meaningful conversation with people in our social circles.

“The reality is, when you’re going through depression, the last thing you feel like doing is reaching out,” says Mr G.

Mr G speaks to the issue from lived-experience, mentioning that five years ago he went through an episode of having suicidal thoughts.

He’s not alone, in that the 2017/18 New Zealand Health Survey found that one in six New Zealand adults had been diagnosed with a common mental disorder at some time in their lives. This includes depression, bipolar disorders and anxiety disorders. Nearly 9 per cent of adults had experienced psychological distress in the past four weeks.

Revealing a message sent to him by a friend, Mr G highlights the need to do more than making ourselves available for people to talk to, but to make the extra effort to ask how others are holding up.  

We don't need to be qualified doctors to show someone we care - Facebook / Mr G

"We don't need to be qualified doctors to simply show someone that we care!", the post reads. 

“The reality is, that’s what’s going to help the person going through depression or anxiety and stuff,” says Mr G.

Mr G is starting a new challenge where he will do one push-up a day and post it to his social media stories, but more importantly, he will be reaching out to one friend or whānau member each day, and also sharing one mental health tip online.

Where to get help:

Need to Talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to speak to a trained counsellor, for any reason.

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7) or text 4202

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)

Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or email talk@youthline.co.nz

What's Up: online chat (3pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 helpline (12pm-10pm weekdays, 3pm-11pm weekends)

Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (24/7)

Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254

Healthline: 0800 611 116

Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.