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Truckie to push-up for mental health

Truckie and mental health ambassador Ian ‘Eno’ Taylor is encouraging people to take up the challenge to do 3139 push ups in June, which represents the number of lives lost to suicide in Australia in 2020.

Taylor is an ambassador for both Lifeline North Coast, which is behind the Push Up Challenge, and OzHelp’s Health in Gear.

“Push ups can be a real challenge to most people, so too can tackling mental health conditions,” he said.

“This year my family and I have joined the Lifeline North Coast 2022 Push Up Challenge team and we’re encouraging people to push up for better mental health by participating in Australia’s largest fitness based mental health initiative, by way of participation or donation.”

“Participants will take on 3139 push ups between June 1-24, putting the spotlight on the number of lives lost to suicide in Australia in 2020, which is when this initiative commenced.”

Lifeline North Coast explains that suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15-49; adding that one in five Australians will experience mental health issues this year, but only 45 per cent of that number will actually seek help.

Truckie mental health is a topic very close to Taylor’s heart.

Following the suicides of fellow truck drivers Mark Haines and Tom Seccombe, Taylor brought the trucking community together late last year for the Grinding Gears and Burning Diesel convoy at Coffs Harbour – with over 100 trucks coming together to raise awareness for mental health, and raise funds for Lifeline North Coast.

Taylor continues to advocate for greater awareness of truckie mental health and the need for help and support.

He says the convoy in Coffs Harbour will be held again this November, raising funds and awareness for Lifeline Mid North Coast, with Health in Gear to be involved as well. “We had about 120 trucks last year and we’re hoping for another 150 this year.”

Taylor’s fascination with trucks started when he was about five years old. His uncle came around to his place in a Kenworth, and Taylor and many of the kids in his street would jump in the cab for a ride around the block.

At 19, Taylor obtained his truck licence and he’s been driving trucks on and off for around 30 years.

For Taylor, having a clean cabin helps provide him with a clear headspace to do his job – coupled with good music and some good podcasts. He also has a stash of lollipops in his cup holder, which he happily hands out whenever he sees someone is having a bad day or in need of cheering up.

As he takes on the Push Up Challenge, Taylor will share his daily progress, while raising funds for Lifeline North Coast.

People can register to take part in the Push Up Challenge as an individual, a team, workplace, gym, club or school. They can track their progress via the Push for Better App or the Push-Up Challenge website.

Participants can aim for 100 per cent of their daily target or set their own goals, which can also be modified as push ups, sit ups, planks, squats or any tailored exercises.

Money raised through the Push Up Challenge will assist Lifeline North Coast to continue providing its much-needed services.

If you or someone you know is in need of mental health support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through phone, text and online chat for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed, experiencing crisis or longing to be heard.

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