Whether it’s surf, sweat or tears, salt water can help alleviate mental stress. OneWave is an amazing organisation that help people do just that. This non-profit surf community are here to help raise awareness for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety,
Their simple recipe of salt water, surfing, good mates and Fluro Fridays is a sweet concoction to let people know they’re not alone and encourage them to get in the ocean, surf it out and talk about it. OneWave hold weekly sunrise sessions along the Australian coast with a spot of surfing, swimming and yoga to start tackling some of the important questions that are normally avoided about mental health.
OneWave was founded by Grant Trebilco and Sam Schumacher after Grant had returned from a week partying at a surfing festival three years ago and was diagnosed with bipolar. “When I got out of hospital I moved back to NZ and it was surfing with my Dad (who also has bipolar) and my mates that helped me the most. I remember getting this one good wave and it was the first time I had smiled in so long,” recalls Greg. After sharing his struggles with his friends, he realised the best thing to do was not to hide it.
“I decided from that day I wanted to try and share my experiences. To make it easier for people to talk about mental health and share my love of surfing. Because sometimes OneWave is all it takes to get that smile back…Surfing helped me through the worst funk in my life and I want to share this recipe with as many people as we can in the world.”
The very first OneWave event saw Greg surfing by himself in a shirt and tie. Luckily, these events have grown in popularity and he is now joined each week by a big group of people dressed head to toe in their brightest attire for Fluro Fridays. Surfing in the freshest Fluro isn’t the only thing these guys do though. Throughout February, they held Monday night surf, yoga and meditation sessions. And on the last Saturday of February they held their first OneWave ‘Free the Funk’ event at North Bondi which combined surfing, meditation, yoga and live music with a talk by one of the community who has been affected by mental health issues.
Want to get involved in this awesome organisation? The good news is it’s their second birthday tomorrow, Friday 20 March and they’re on a mission to create the world’s largest fluro wave to raise awareness for mental health. Beaches all over the world are taking part in this great event so why not find your nearest beach and get surfing Friday 20 March!
If you need urgent support or are worried about someone, remember you are not alone. Please contact your local doctor and/or contact an organisation like Lifeline Australia, Beyond Blue or Black Dog Institute.