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Bill Guiney popping up everywhere to do pushups in support of mental health

The countdown is on. Bill Guiney (left) and Paul Fifield, manager of corporate services for the Canadian Mental Health Association Newfoundland and Labrador Division, are cracking off pushups to start the 100-day challenge at the base of the Caribou statue, an emblem of strength not only here but around the globe.
The countdown is on. Bill Guiney (left) and Paul Fifield, manager of corporate services for the Canadian Mental Health Association Newfoundland and Labrador Division, are cracking off pushups to start the 100-day challenge at the base of the Caribou statue, an emblem of strength not only here but around the globe. - Joe Gibbons
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

It has been the mantra of Bill Guiney and his family for more than four years.

His partnership with advancing care and knowledge of those suffering with mental health issues is second to none.

That is why he continues to come up with new ideas, goals to achieve, to help raise the bar — and funds — in support of those suffering from mental health issues.

That is why you found him and his compatriot Paul Fifield in Bowring Park on Monday, doing pushups at the base of the Caribou statue to highlight the strength and perseverance he has toward doing what he can to overcome any and all mental health issues.

The Guiney Pushup Challenge for Mental Health is now in its fourth year.

Supporting the Canadian Mental Health Association Newfoundland and Labrador Division (CMHA-NL), Guiney will pop up at a new location each day to perform pushups in support of mental health initiatives carried out by the CMHA-NL.

“Proceeds from this event will be used towards education, training and support services for the CMHA-NL across the province,’’ Guiney said.

“Participants who raise funds through sponsorships and donations are asked to do 100 pushups during the three-hour event,’’ he added, noting the culmination of all the hard work will be on July 13 from 1-4 p.m. at Larkhall Academy in St. John’s.

This family-friendly endeavor will be bolstered by live entertainment, refreshments and a host more activities.

Those who can’t attend are asked to record a video of their pushups and tag it to @CMHANL on social media.

For Susan and Bill, this is not something they take lightly.

The Guineys know first-hand the traumatic experience mental health played in their own lives and have worked for several years to assist people with issues surrounding mental health.

Their story surrounds their daughters, who, several years ago, just four days apart, both attempted suicide.

In an effort to help others and to lend support to mental health illnesses, the Guineys have done several events to entice people to seek help and not take the same drastic measures attempted by their daughters. One of their latest ventures is decorating a Charlie Brown tree-like story.

Both of the Guineys’ daughters wound up in the hospital after their suicide attempts. Both have depression and anxiety issues. The youngest was a cutter — that is a cry for help. One of those cuts went too far and she almost died. Four days later, their other daughter took an overdose.

The initial event was a pushup challenge that sees Bill and a few of his friends do as many pushups as possible on a designated day, raising funds and awareness for mental health issues.

In addition, the Guineys decided to decorate a tree with ornaments, a lone spruce tree located on the barrens of Highway 10 on the Southern Shore, slightly more than seven kilometres north of Portugal Cove South, to raise awareness for mental health issues and availability of help for people suffering with those issues.

He has also volunteered to carve a few trees at The Gathering Place in St. John’s and faithfully hosts his pushup challenge without fail.

So now that the countdown is underway, Guiney started in Bowring Park on Day 100, went to his tree at the Barrens on Day 99, did pushups in his yard on Day 98 and was in the parking lot of In Da Loop on Day 97.

Where he will be next is a mystery, but those wishing to follow his progress can do so on his Facebook page.

“Partnering with CMHA-NL and their social media, we hope to raise awareness and funding for this worthwhile cause,’’ he said.

“Any companies, organizations or individuals that would like me to come by and do some pushups and join me in this challenge, just drop me a text or email
wilguiney@gmail.com or call 709-770-2672,’’ he added.


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