Cisco Joins Lifeline Australia To ‘PUSH’ For Better Mental Health In The Technology Sector

Over 24 days in June, Australians will complete The Push Up Challenge and raise money for mental health crisis support services.

Cisco, one of Australia’s leading IT and networking companies, has joined Lifeline in pushing for better Mental Health in the workplace. For the second year running, Cisco will participate in  The Push-Up Challenge as it aspires to top the community fundraising chart.

About 1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental health condition every year.  The importance of workplace mental health is rapidly increasing in the post-pandemic environment, particularly among IT workers, due to the higher rates of depression experienced in the industry.

As ways of working have shifted with the pandemic and the demand for telecommunication resources ever growing, the sector has been confronted with the challenges of supporting its staff to be mentally healthy.

Following the success of last year’s The Push Up Challenge, Cisco is now calling on the broader  IT industry to join them and provide tech workers with an ‘antidote’ to feelings of ‘isolation’, all while enabling them to prioritize their physical and mental health.

The Push Up Challenge participants will take on 3,139 push-ups across 24 days in June, spotlighting the tragic number of lives lost to suicide in Australia in 2020.

Head of Small Businesses at Cisco, Karen Schuman, said The Push Up Challenge creates a safe and relaxed space to talk about mental health at work. By completing the Challenge as a  team, Karen and her colleagues can provide personal support to each other and foster a better understanding of mental health.

“When working in a high-pressure industry, it is crucial to have conversations about mental health and suicide, and we need to see more workplaces making it a priority,” said Ms. Schuman.

Mental Health

“May 2021, when I was first introduced to The Push Up Challenge, marked the 25th anniversary of my father’s death by suicide. The Challenge resonated with me instantly, professionally, as a Cisco leader, and personally. For years after my father’s death, I couldn’t  say the word ‘suicide’ without shame or hurt, so I knew it was the time to be vulnerable and  have open conversations within the team.”

Ms. Shuman believes rallying a workplace to complete the Challenge can positively impact teams’ mental and physical health. It also provides much-needed financial support to Lifeline Australia, which is working to ensure no one is facing their darkest moments alone.

Colin Seery, CEO of Lifeline Australia, said, “Just like Lifeline’s services, The Push Up  Challenge is for everybody. The terrific thing about the Challenge is how it connects people  through exercise while empowering them with ways to make a positive difference in  other people’s lives.”

“More people than ever before are reaching out to Lifeline for help, and the money raised will support our services to be there for anyone, anytime, whatever the reason. We are delighted  to have the Cisco team fund our crisis support services.”

“When organizations take the lead like this, it helps encourage Australians to talk about their mental health, learn how to support each other best, and recognize when they might need to put  their hand up for help.”

In 2021, over 174,000 participants completed 240 million push-ups and raised $9 million for mental health programs and services.

Participants of all ages and abilities push-ups while learning about mental health, with daily push-ups changing to reflect a vital mental health fact.

Alternatively, participants can set their own push-up goal, which can be done as sit-ups,  squats, or tailored exercises, with progress, tracked through a dedicated app.

Register for The Push-Up Challenge as an individual or a team, or get your whole workplace, club, gym, or school involved at

Editorial Team

The TBN team is an awell-establishedd group of technology industry professionals with backgrounds in IT Systems, Business Communications, and Journalism.

Bella E. McMahon
I am a freelance writer who started blogging in college. I am fascinated by human nature, politics, culture, technology, and pop culture. In addition to my writing, I enjoy exploring new places, trying out new things, and engaging in conversations with new people. Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, playing music, making crafts, writing, traveling, and spending time with my family.