Love, support and openness were the pleasantly surprising findings when a Rotorua woman climbed Mount Maunganui not once, not twice, but 19 times in one day.

Amarna Christensen, 23, set herself the challenge to climb Mauao 38 times in 24 hours on Friday to raise money for mental health, as well as awareness of the cause.

Although she was proud of accomplishing 19 climbs, she wished she had done more.

However, the task was more difficult than she anticipated and her knee started giving in, to the point she could not continue.


Despite this, Christensen was "humbled" to have raised more than $1600 for the Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust, a lifeline that helps raise awareness around suicide and provide support within the community.

Setting off at midnight, Christensen did the first lap in 30 minutes and the final one took an hour and a half.

The first two laps came and went and she thought she had it in the bag.

"Then number four came and I was like 'what have I done?'"

Making the climb and descent 19 times in 19 hours took the physical and mental toll she anticipated but she was motivated by her supporters as well as the people she was doing it for.

She said when she was suffering from mental health issues, she thought "suicide was the only way out", but she got the right help at the right time and that essentially saved her life.

Her cousin was one of the many in New Zealand who did not get the help he needed and Christensen said she thought about him when the challenge got tough.

The sideline support and those who joined in was what stood out to her most, from friends and family to complete strangers.


"One guy had done three by himself and he saw me so he decided to one with me but ended up doing six with me," she said.

"I didn't know who he was but by the end of it we'd had a few good chats going up and down."

Christensen moves to the UK in five weeks but is determined to reach the summit 19 more times to complete her original goal.

Her Givealittle page will stay open until she leaves next month. Search Amarna Christensen - Mount Everest Challenge - 24 hours on

If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call 111.

If you need to talk to someone, the following free helplines operate 24/7:

LIFELINE: 0800 543 354
NEED TO TALK? Call or text 1737
SAMARITANS: 0800 726 666
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633 or text 234