The Push-Up Challenge was a huge success – thanks to YOU!

February 26, 2024

Thank you, Toronto, for pushing for better mental health!

This February, for the first time, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) asked Canadians to help raise funds for community-based mental health services across the country by doing 2,000 push-ups or another physical activity in 23 days. We chose 2,000 as that represents the 20 per cent of Canadians who will experience a mental health challenge each year.

At CMHA Toronto we were proud to have over 1,500 legends pushing for mental health, who collectively raised more than $120,000 to support much-needed community-based mental health and addictions services. Across Canada, more than 40,000 people participated and raised more than $2.3 million for CMHAs across the country.

CMHA is the oldest and largest mental health agency in Canada and delivers extensive community-based mental health programs and services, while pushing for nationwide system and social change. Across Canada, we’ve raised over $2 million for CMHAs by encouraging individuals across the country to participate in mood-boosting physical movement (especially needed during these final days of winter blahs) – and these outstanding results truly represent the sense of community, belonging and connection among us all.

Here in Toronto, Yes I’m Bless is one great example of that community building in action. Yes I'm Bless Clothing co-founders Ryan Edwards and Kadeem Smithen said, “The Push-Up Challenge was a natural fit for us because mental health and fitness go together – and Yes I’m Bless is all about opening up the conversation around mental health for BIPOC men. The challenge was a great opportunity for us to engage our own community… while raising some money for community mental health services. We were really happy to support the Canadian Mental Health Association Toronto.”

Yes I’m Bless continues to flex for mental health: proceeds from their crewneck sweater sales will be donated to CMHA Toronto.

Kadeem and Ryan host a podcast where they work to decrease the stigma around men’s mental health by being vulnerable with each other and opening up about their own mental health. Kadeem, a former basketball player, still works in sports as a mental performance coach and explains how they approach mental health in their work: “It takes a lot to open up, but we want people to know it’s okay to not be okay, you are not alone. I want anyone listening to our podcast to know that. And, for us, being part of the Push-Up Challenge for CMHA Toronto was just a great opportunity to let even more people know that. It is all about creating community.”

Thank you, Toronto! Your support for community-based mental health means we can continue to provide the services people need right here in the community.

If you missed this year’s fun, you can still donate to CMHA Toronto here, or think about supporting one of our teams for the upcoming Toronto Marathon this May.

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