The past two years have impacted the physical and mental health of many people within our school communities, as we grapple with COVID infection, stress from lockdown and fatigue from ongoing periods of remote learning. The toll on the mental health and well-being of our young people has been, and continues to be, very significant.
The benefits of “physical fitness” are widely recognised and form an integral part of the school curriculum. The focus on mental health and well-being is becoming increasingly important, with the combined benefits of physical fitness and mental fitness helping to build resilience and develop a more positive outlook on life.
With the lockdown set to continue in Term 4, the ACC is launching a new program that is open to the staff and students from our twelve member schools: “Move 4 Mental Fitness”
WHAT IS THE MOVE 4 MENTAL FITNESS CHALLENGE?
The M4MF Challenge is based on the physical challenges that we conducted during lockdowns in 2020, but also provides a specific focus on mental health and well-being. Members of each school community are encouraged to “move” (walk, run, cycle) over a 4-week period across the start of Term 4 (hence the 4 in the title) and submit their details online via the ACC website. An additional (and optional) aspect to the Challenge involves a donation towards a mental health organisation of your choice on a $1 per km basis for each participant.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
1. The M4MF Challenge will be held from Monday October 4th through to Friday October 29th (Weeks 1 – 4 in Term 4).
2. MFMF is open to all staff and students from our member schools. If every member of the ACC community participates (even once or twice a week), we will have around 17,000 people moving for mental fitness and focussing on the mental and physical health of our young people.
3. Walk, run or cycle at any time during the Challenge period and record your “Move” using a GPS enabled device (phone or watch).
4. Each Friday during the Challenge period, use the ACC website form to submit your name, school and GPS data along with your total kms travelled.
5. The total kms travelled for each school will be collated and a weekly ladder published. A ratio of total school kms / school enrolment will enable a fair and equitable comparison between schools. Challenge your mates and get them on board to M4MF.
6. Each participating student or staff member is also encouraged to participate in the fundraising aspect of the challenge to support the wonderful work of the various mental health organisations in Victoria. Each participant is encouraged to establish a challenge partner – this could be a friend, family member or local business. Get them on board to support you on a $1 per kilometre basis to raise much needed funds for organisations providing mental health services to the Victorian community. At the end of the 4-week challenge, provide your challenge partner with a total of your kms and a link to your preferred mental health organisation to make a donation. Instead of a challenge partner, you may just wish to make a donation yourself based on a $1 per km basis. A list of some great organisations and their donation pages can be found below. Please ensure that any donations are made directly to the relevant organisation through their official fundraising links.
7. Most importantly – visit the mental health organisation websites and connect with them if you need support. Help is available to people of all ages and there are some fantastic online resources, as well as contact details for you to reach out for assistance.
WHAT MENTAL HEALTH ORGANISATIONS CAN I SUPPORT?
There are a number of mental health organisations that your school may already be in contact with, but other great organisations are listed on the M4MF Donation page.
As part of the four-week program, the ACC will publish daily updates on our social media platforms with various content focussing on the mental health and well-being of our young people. As this is a whole community project, we would welcome input from staff and students on suggested posts to share, along with stories and inspirational images, videos and quotes. Please share relevant information to Dom Scarpino via email: [email protected]
Taking part in this challenge will enable you to play a significant part in recognising the importance of mental fitness, whilst also helping you feel better within yourself both physically and mentally. Get involved, get moving and challenge your mates to join you. Most importantly…..have fun in the process!