One of Australia’s largest gym chains Anytime Fitness, including its West End branch, has announced a new partnership with suicide prevention charity R U OK?. Its upcoming annual charity challenge held from Friday 31 May to Saturday 1 June asks Australians to Tread As One to support suicide prevention.

Suicide prevention awareness is a core value of Anytime Fitness and the parent company Collective Wellness Group. With more than 500,000 members Anytime Fitness is dedicated to delivering activity that positively impacts the lives and health of all Australians. 2019’s Tread As One is set for strong community participation and fundraising results. Anytime Fitness General Manager, Gordon Martin says, “Anytime Fitness lives in the heartland of Australia. Our franchisees, members and staff all over the country look to their local Anytime Fitness as an integral part of their community. We are proud to play such an important role in the lives of Aussies and continue to do so with the Tread As One initiative and R U OK? With 89 per cent of Australians reporting that they know someone who has made a suicide attempt, inspiring and empowering individuals to start a conversation with someone who might be struggling with life is much needed.”

R U OK? is one of Australia’s most recognised suicide prevention charities. The organisation encourages people to hold meaningful conversations with those around them and ask ‘Are you OK?’. Peer-to-peer support can save lives and R U OK? works to equip people with the skills and confidence to navigate a conversation. Katherine Newton, R U OK? CEO says, “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Anytime Fitness and spread the R U OK? message through its vibrant community. We know that making regular visits to the gym and being with our gym buddies can provide a sense of belonging. We want members to look out for each other and trust their gut when they notice the signs that someone in their gym community might be struggling with life. ”

The Anytime Fitness treadmill challenge was originally started by community, for community, when a group of friends who were bereaved by suicide held a 24-hour challenge with one treadmill in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. It has now grown to hundreds of locations with thousands of community members coming together to bring mental health awareness to light. Since 2017, Anytime Fitness has raised more than $800,000 for mental health charities.

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