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MSPS push ups for Mental Health

Saturday, 26th June, 2021

By Emily Ferguson

A group of fourteen Morgan Street Public School teachers are participating in the Push Up Challenge for mental health this month and on Tuesday at their athletics carnival, the entire school got involved.
Prior to the lunch break at the carnival at Picton Oval on Tuesday, June 22, all students and teachers came together and took to their hands and feet to complete 20 push-ups together in sets of ten.
Morgan Street Public School teachers April Dempster and Emma Halpin are part of the ‘Morgie Machines’, the group partaking in the Push Up Challenge for mental health. They spoke about the importance of raising awareness and teaching kids that it’s okay to not be okay.
“This is something that we started last year. We saw that the Push Up Challenge was this initiative that was trying to bring attention to mental health. It was actually Emma (Halpin) that orchestrated the whole thing for last year and we had an amazing turn out of support from teachers and donations and things,” said Miss Dempster.
“The money raised goes directly to local services, so last year we raised money for Headspace. And we thought because last year was so successful that we’d do it again, and we’ve actually got more people on board this year. There are 14 in our team and the money that we’re raising this year is going to Broken Hill Lifeline.”
The group of people that make up the ‘Morgie Machines’ wanted to participate in the Push Up Challenge because many have witnessed the effects of poor mental health on those close to them.
“I think unfortunately there have been quite a few of us that have had friends or family that have taken their lives because of mental health and we just thought that it’s something we can all do. Like their struggle that they are going through at the moment or have been going through, is a lot more than what we put ourselves through to do a couple of thousand push-ups in a month. So we thought it was something we could get on board with,” said Miss Dempster.
As teachers, they believe it is important to teach students about mental health because poor mental health can affect anyone, of any age.
“Well it can start quite young and I think children can have just as many problems as adults sometimes so just letting them know what’s available and raising awareness about it,” said Mrs Halpin.
“I think last year as well with COVID, it was pretty full-on for everybody so that was kind of where we started because this came up right in the middle of lockdowns and home-schooling, and it’s kind of taken off from there. “
“Like Emma said, it’s starting a lot younger now and if we can get people out there talking about their mental health from a young age, talking about how they’re feeling and knowing that it’s okay to feel what they’re feeling,” said Miss Dempster. “It’s okay not to be okay, and reach out if you need to.
“We’re trying to raise as much money as we can, purely because it’s going locally.”
To donate to the Morgie Machines visit thepushupchallenge.com.au/team/328-morgie-machines.

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