Former NRL Great Anthony Minichiello Launches Mental Health Initiative Every Australian Should Get Behind

"It doesn’t matter who you are, we can all be affected by mental illness at some point in our lives and it is OK to talk about it."

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From Viking advice we’d be loathe to forget to studies showing the power of simple changes on your wellbeing, mental health has been a huge topic of discussion in Australia this year.

Why? For many, the ability to go to bed at night and not feel the crushing universe closing in remains an elusive goal.

Sleepless nights in mind, former NRL great Anthony Minichiello has just launched Planking for Positivity, a challenge which aims to reinforce the message anxiety is nothing to be ashamed about.

Planking for Positivity seeks to kick the stigma around anxiety and start a global conversation. The challenge fuses the physical with the mental too: far from having you sign up to some – let’s face it – intimidating 7 day meditation challenge, it’s simple.

All you have to do is record a plank, post your video, and – when sharing it on social media – nominate three others to do it too. Oh and use the hashtag #planking4plus.

Speaking to DMARGE, Minichiello said the decision to launch the movement was spurred on by this year’s unusual circumstances: “With what is happening with COVID, it definitely gave us that extra push to launch our charity because so many people’s lives have been affected and the strain on families have been immense.”

“Our main goal really is to end the stigma on mental illness and to help prevent it for the current and future generations. The topic is very close to all our hearts. Each and everyone in the Planking For Positivity team has or has known someone who has been affected yet people aren’t willing to talk about it because of the stigma.”

“1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental illness in any year… That’s a lot of people and it could be you or someone close to you. Yet, once again, it’s something that people try to manage privately because it’s scary and confronting to show our vulnerabilities. But you know what, it’s all part and parcel of life.”

“We want to get people to Plank for Positivity and talk about what they are anxious about to show the world that it doesn’t matter who you are, we are all humans at the end of the day and life throws us curveballs. Sometimes, things can get tough and it is ok to talk about it,” Minichiello added.


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Join the PLANKING FOR POSITIVITY challenge and help remove the stigma surrounding anxiety and mental health. Together we can make a difference. === PLANKING FOR POSITIVITY === – Record a plank – Tell the world what you are anxious about and the changes you will make for the better – Post your video, #planking4plus and nominate 3 people to do the same or donate to – @replace with your 1st nomination – @2nd nomination – @3rd nomination #planking4plus #planking4+ #plankingforpositivity #mentalhealth #awareness #anxiety #anxietyawareness #depression #depressionhelp #depressionawareness #suicide #suicidehelp #suicideprevention #youarenotalone #selflove #covid #mindset #mindfulness #stopthestigma #endthestigma Follow @planking4positivity When you post your video, you can copy and paste the text above by visiting

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Minichiello also told DMARGE, “Our main goal is to get people to open up and talk about what they are anxious about and the changes they will make for the better. We want to show the world that it doesn’t matter who you are, we can all be affected by mental illness at some point in our lives and it is OK to talk about it.”

“Ultimately, we want to prevent mental illness for our generations and for future generations to come. COVID and the impact it would have is going to be profound. It is so important that we start today to improve the mental fitness of our younger generation to make sure that they are resilient. And if we cannot prevent it, at least equip them with the right tools so they know what to do and how to manage it.”

“It is just as important for people who aren’t affected by mental illness to know what to say and what to do if someone close to them is affected.”

Minichiello then gave us some tips on how to broach this topic of anxiety, when it’s not something you’re used to: “The first tip is that there is no perfect moment. The second tip is to start with someone who you will listen and whom you know will support you regardless of what you are going through. The third tip is that it doesn’t have to be face to face.”

“Once you start, you’ll realise that it is really not that scary. Also, check out the people who have done the Planking For Positivity challenge on Instagram (#planking4plus) – if anything, 99% of people are so supportive. That’s a lot and I think that speaks for itself.”

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