He's been doing push-ups while Northland burlesque dancers perform the can-can and even to the sound of himself singing while playing the keyboard - all to raise awareness about suicide.

For the past 10 days Whangarei man Tim Bell has been videoing himself while he does push-ups as part of an initiative encouraging punters to do 22 push-ups per day for 22 days for suicide awareness.

It stems from a global movement called #22KILL which was started in 2013 after statistics revealed an average of 22 veterans commit suicide every day.

Mr Bell decided to become involved after being nominated by his friend Isaac Bell, who was nominated by Northland musician Troy Kingi.


"My cousin committed suicide a few months back and we've got a massive suicide problem here in Northland and the conversation is still pretty taboo. It needs to be something that is talked about, not as an informative thing, it needs to be an inclusive conversation that we have with particularly young people. The ones who don't reach out or talk are the ones who go and kill themselves," he said.

Suicide statistics from June 2014 to June 2015 showed 28 suicides in Northland compared to 21 in the previous financial year.

Mr Bell has being doing push-ups for the last 10 days, some days he has doubled up to make up for the days he has missed.

He has been pretty creative with his videos which include him doing push-ups while the Northern Dolls perform the can-can and his first video featured him doing them while another video played of him singing and playing the keyboard.

He has also done videos at the Devonport Wharf where he said some "weird looks" were directed his way.

"Because it's social media related and the purpose of this is to raise awareness about suicide, if you were putting up videos of you doing push-ups every day, people wouldn't watch it. The important thing is that people watch it and see the message."

Where to go for help or advice

- Lifeline - 0800 543 354
- Depression Helpline (8am to 12 midnight) - 0800 111 757
- Healthline - 0800 611 116
- Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz
- What's Up (for 5 to 18-year-olds; 1pm to 11pm) - 0800 942 8787
- Kidsline (aimed at children up to 14 years of age; 4pm to 6pm weekdays) - 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline)
- www.depression.org.nz - includes The Journal online help service
- www.thelowdown.co.nz - visit the website, email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626 (emails and text messages will be responded to between noon and 12 midnight).
- OUTLine NZ - 0800 688 5463 (OUTLINE) (provides confidential telephone support for sexuality or gender identity issues).