Like me, many people are scared of sharks, but apart from that, surfing does have a lot of appeal. So it is not surprising that OneWave has created a fantastic initiative to help people suffering from mental health issues by way of getting people surfing.
“OneWave is all it takes” holds weekly Fluro Friday sunrise sessions at beaches around the world, to raise awareness for mental health. Their website has more information about the different locations that host sessions. There is one in Torquay (Victoria), so that may be the closest surf option for bayside Melbournites.
The idea is to dress up in the brightest outfits possible and surf/swim/do yoga. Everyone is welcome and it is a free event.
Their website notes that “fluro makes people smile and gets people asking important questions, which are normally avoided about mental health.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re riding a wave for the first time or the hundredth time…you never forget the feeling of being on a wave, letting everything go with a massive smile on your face. OneWave is all it takes… To free the funk. To give you hope.”
Grant Trebilco founded OneWave in February 2013 after a ten year battle with mental health issues, and finally being hospitalised in 2012, and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. OneWave‘s cofounder is Sam Schumacher, a surf instructor, who originally graduated as an aerospace engineer.
It is fantastic publicity for OneWave that HRH Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex visited OneWave at famous Bondi beach today, to hear more about the OneWave mental health initiative.