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NZDF completes 22 Push Up Challenge

Today hundreds of military and civilian New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel around the motu dropped and gave us 22 push ups to support work around mental health and wellbeing.

22 February, 2024

Many of us struggle with challenges to our mental health and today’s event was designed to start the sometimes difficult conversation around that topic and let people know where they can find help. Sailors, soldiers, aviators and civilian staff took to ships, the beach, the gym and many other areas to take on the challenge.

The 22 Push Up Challenge began in the United States in 2011 as a means of honouring veteran service and sacrifice and drawing attention to veteran mental health challenges. At the time 22 US veterans were committing suicide every single day. Mental health challenges aren’t unique to veterans and it is important to assess your health and wellbeing on a regular basis.

IMGP8710 CRTS and LDF Woodbourne Large

22 Push Up Challenge: New Zealand Defence Force

Push ups, like life, have their ups and downs. Getting down can seem easy, what matters is that we try our best to get back up again. But if you do find yourself down and getting back up feels impossible, here are some places you can turn to for help. Camaraderie and support are at the heart of the NZDF’s ethos. No-one should feel they are fighting alone. As you do your set of 22, reflect on this list of 22 places you can go for support:

1 Local chaplain
2 Social worker
3 PTI you trust
4 Command WO
5 Line commander
6 Local MO or Doctor
7 0800 NZDF4U
8 Local Defence Psychologist
9 Local RSA welfare officer
10 Defence Nurse
11 A medic you trust
12 Anti-Harassment advisor
14 Family and Whanau
15 1737  - free national helpline.
16 Overwatch - Rainbow communities support
17 Lifeline - free national crisis line
18 Camp & Base Pasifika and Pan-Asian Networks
19 Defence Marae staff
21 Unit commander
22 Any member of the NZDF you might trust.

DNB QD 02 Simone Millar

Devonport Naval Base

IMGP8688 CRTS and LDF Woodbourne

Base Woodbourne

WB ARFF Drop Give Me 22 Donna Wilson

Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting - Base Woodbourne

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Base Auckland

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Defence College

Should you be struggling please know that you are not alone and the NZDF has support available to you at any time, now or in the future. The Defence Health website, Putahi Hauora, provides guidance about helping a suicidal mate, self-harm and suicidal thoughts, and personal stories shared by NZDF personnel. You will find contact numbers for NZDF Social Workers or Chaplains and external health professionals through 0800 NZDF4U where help is available for all regular force and their families, reservists, civilians and veterans. 0508 TAUTOKO (0508 828 865) is the free, nationwide suicide crisis helpline or in an emergency always phone 111.