Sweat­ing it out to spread the Movem­ber mes­sage

The Riverine Herald - - FRONT PAGE - By Kim­ber­ley Price

FOR­GET just try­ing to grow a mo for Movem­ber.

All you have to do is get into a plas­tic di­nosaur cos­tume on a very warm Echuca day, get down to the gym and get on a tread­mill. And run 23km. Then just be­cause you can, you hit the floor and punch out 230 pushups.

If your name is Matt Nu­nan and you are look­ing for a rel­a­tively fast track (about 23km long) to rais­ing money for Movem­ber that’s ex­actly what you do.

Gym junkie Matt — who runs marathons in his spare time — said he has had more than enough of hear­ing about good friends suf­fer­ing.

He said talk­ing to any­one about their per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences with men­tal ill­ness was dif­fi­cult.

But for some rea­son, in par­tic­u­lar for men, the taboo topic is of­ten swept un­der the rug as men are told to, and ex­pected to, ‘get over it’.

So Matt used Movem­ber to do some­thing – and to make a mas­sive point of it.

As part of the cam­paign, Matt chal­lenged him­self and his mates to raise as much money as pos­si­ble for the Movem­ber Foun­da­tion – the lead­ing char­ity chang­ing the face of men’s health.

It ad­dresses some of the big­gest health is­sues faced by men such as prostate can­cer, tes­tic­u­lar can­cer,

No. 10111

I’ve had three mates re­ally af­fected by men­tal health. I just wanted to cre­ate some more aware­ness. If there’s some­thing the money can do, then that’s great. But it’s all about aware­ness

men­tal health and sui­cide preven­tion.

Hav­ing raised more than $2300 be­fore Thurs­day, Matt headed to Snap Fit­ness to keep his side of the fundrais­ing prom­ise.

“I said for ev­ery $100 we raised I would run 1km and do 10 pushups in a cos­tume cho­sen by the Snap Fit­ness mem­bers,” Matt said.

“But I wasn’t re­ally ex­pect­ing to raise this much,” he laughed (and sweated).

For Matt, the fun­da­men­tal prob­lem he sees is the lack of aware­ness for men know­ing there is a way to work through their men­tal ill­ness

“I’ve had three mates re­ally af­fected by men­tal health,” he said.

“I just wanted to cre­ate some more aware­ness.

“If there’s some­thing the money can do, then that’s great. But it’s all about aware­ness.

“Even in do­ing Movem­ber, I’ve found more peo­ple are talk­ing about the is­sues. And I’ve be­come more aware.

“I can be sit­ting down with some of my mates, hav­ing a good time, and then you re­alise some­one is abusing their al­co­hol or even drugs.

“But still, we don’t know if it’s too late.

“I think there’s a open­ness now.”

Construction work­ers and tradies are among the high­est sui­cide rates of any oc­cu­pa­tion in Aus­tralia, ac­cord­ing to 2017 data.

As the owner of Nailed It Qual­ity Builders, Matt en­listed the help of his fel­low builders, friends and Snap Fit­ness to help his cause.

“Movem­ber is not just about preven­tion, it’s about aware­ness,” Matt said.

“Three out of four men suf­fer from some sort of men­tal ill­ness in Aus­tralia and glob­ally a man dies from tak­ing his own life ev­ery minute of ev­ery day.”

Matt said one of the things he has found most help­ful in his life is ex­er­cis­ing, but he re­alised ev­ery­one was dif­fer­ent. lot more

But felt find­ing a hobby out­side of work was im­por­tant for ev­ery­one.

“That’s why it’s great to be­ing do­ing this to­day,” he added.

Snap Fit­ness club man­ager Thomas Bryans was proud to get not only him­self, but the mem­bers of Snap Fit­ness, in­volved in Matt’s Movem­ber cause.

“Matt told us what he was do­ing and we knew it was a great cause with which to be in­volved,” Thomas said.

“On Novem­ber 18 we held a char­ity walk and bar­be­cue where mem­bers paid $5 to be in­volved and we walked for one hour to sig­nify the 60 men taken by sui­cide ev­ery hour,” he said.

“Be­fore Matt’s cause, we or­gan­ised an­other event where we walked 8km for the eight peo­ple a day in Aus­tralia who die at their own hands.”

Thomas said he sees peo­ple in Snap ev­ery day, work­ing out to im­prove their men­tal health.

“I’d say a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of our mem­bers would have joined the gym to help their men­tal health in some form,” Thomas said.

“Ex­er­cise re­leases en­dor­phins, which helps with de­pres­sion. It can also be a great re­lease of anger from the work place or home.

“Com­ing to the gym is the hard­est part. But just walk­ing through those doors is an achieve­ment in it­self.”

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