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Pushup challenge raises funds, awareness for mental health

Bill Guiney (left) and Paul Fifield, manager of corporate services with the Canadian Mental Health Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, were among about 40 participants who took part in the 3rd annual Guiney Push Up Challenge at St. Kevin’s Parish Hall in Goulds on Wednesday
Bill Guiney (left) and Paul Fifield, manager of corporate services with the Canadian Mental Health Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, were among about 40 participants who took part in the 3rd annual Guiney Push Up Challenge at St. Kevin’s Parish Hall in Goulds on Wednesday - Sam McNeish

Getting the word out about mental health issues is paramount in finding help for people who suffer through this deadly affliction.
For the past several years, Bill Guiney has worked diligently with his friends and family to do just that — provide help to those who have mental health issues.
He and his family, like most in Newfoundland and Labrador, know someone who is suffering the effects of mental health problems, and following the attempt by both of his daughters to take their own lives, he knew something had to be done to help them and others like them.
So he came up with the idea of the pushup challenge, to do just that.
He set out with his wife, Susan, to start the first event and now, two years later, the couple — and their ever-growing family — are helping as many people as possible, one pushup at a time.
“I can’t say how happy I am with the amount of people who continue to get involved with this event,” Guiney said after cracking off a set of 25 pushups with Paul Fifield, manager of corporate services with the Canadian Mental Health Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (CMHA-NL), and a second set with his friend and teammate, Bruce Halloran.
“We have so many people who are giving of their own time and paying out of pocket expenses to volunteer for this event, be it through entertainment, barbecuing, hosting our raffles and looking after the silent auction,” he added.
Last year’s event raised more than $2,000 and the Guineys set out this year to beat that five times over and raise $10,000 for the CMHA-NL. Early in the event, Guiney said he is positive they had raised more than $4,000 … even before teams and participants started turning in their money.
That is great news for all those who are suffering and the organization that helps to provide counselling to all those who seek its services.
“We are here because we are trying to show the public the importance of awareness of mental health issues,” Fifield said.
“People need to know about mental health, mental illness and suicide prevention. It is great we can have an event like this with participation from the RNC, St. John’s Regional Fire Department, the Mer B’ys and Engage Fitness all taking part.”
He said it is important for the public to become engaged and talk about mental health, be it through professionals or friends, erase the stigma and allow people to get the help they need.
If you or someone you know is having a mental health crisis, contact the Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-709-737-4668 or toll-free at 1-888-737-4668 or log on to www.cmhanl.ca.
If you are seeking one-on-one counseling, contact Doorways, a walk-in mental health clinic located in Building 532, Pleasantville (back of building on Roosevelt Avenue), or call them at 709-752-4903 to make an appointment.

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