October 27, 2023

Walking towards mental wellbeing: Clint’s story in the M4MH Challenge

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At the heart of any great initiative is a compelling story, and this one is no exception. Meet Clint, a valued staff member at McKern Steel, whose journey from a health scare to becoming a front runner in the Move for Mental Health Challenge (M4MH) is nothing short of inspirational.

This is a story that not only highlights the positive impact of the challenge but also underscores the importance of supporting mental health in the workplace.

A health scare and a turning point

Earlier this year, Clint had a life-altering moment when a health scare forced him to re-evaluate his lifestyle. The wake-up call left him with one choice, to make significant changes for the better. Little did he know that this moment would lead him to become a driving force in the Move for Mental Health Challenge at McKern Steel.

The Move for Mental Health Challenge is a virtual fitness challenge. The challenge encourages participants to engage in regular exercise as a way to combat the stigma surrounding mental health issues and promote open discussions, all while raising funds for the Bendigo Health Foundation. McKern Foundation has sponsored the challenge since its inception.

During the M4MH, Clint has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the cause, consistently averaging an impressive 5 hours of activeness each day – even walking laps up and down the factory while he’s waiting for the cutting saw to finish! His determination was driven by a deeply personal mission to improve not only his physical health but also his mental wellbeing.

He shared, “Move for Mental Health meant a lot to me, and I said I’m going to give it the biggest crack I’ve ever done in my life!” Clint’s efforts inspired not only himself but also his colleagues who have began walking around the workshop and nearby oval during lunch breaks.

A message of gratitude and change

Before adopting this healthy lifestyle, Clint had faced numerous mental health problems. Earlier this year his situation became even more critical. “I was told if I didn’t get my heart rate down I was looking at a stroke, heart attack or aneurism.” He said.

Clint has found unwavering support from his workplace, McKern Steel. The company ensures its employees have access to essential mental health resources, including an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Bendigo Community Health Services, Lifeline, and Bendigo Health. Payslips at McKern Steel prominently feature the phone number for their EAP. Clint expressed his gratitude for the support he received.

“I’m very thankful for Michael and the support he has provided to me in changing my life. The signs around the workplace worked. McKern Steel is a really supportive workplace in everything they provide.”

Clint has now lost over 20kg, exercises daily, incorporates personal training into his week and hasn’t had a cigarette in seven months! Congratulations Clint, we are all behind you!

We asked Clint what’s the best thing to come out of your new approach to life: “I’m healthier, I’m able to do more. I used to isolate a lot, now I just get out and seize the day.”

To anyone who needs a helping hand to improve their life, Clint says:

“Don’t give up, push on, and especially keep moving. I never would have believed that just walking would change my headspace. If you’re feeling down, call somebody. If you’re too embarrassed to call, there’s places to text or go online.”

The Move for Mental Health Challenge, along with the support of employers like McKern Steel, underscores the importance of a holistic approach to mental health. It’s a journey of transformation, inspiration, and gratitude, reminding us that small changes can lead to big impacts and that we are all in this journey to better mental health together.

If you or someone you know needs support please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifelinelm.org.au