Set up by Sydney-sider, Grant Trebilco, OneWave is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to help people with mental health issues by teaching them to surf.
The idea was spawned from Grant’s own personal experiences. After being diagnosed as bi-polar, Grant found solace on the waves and realised that perhaps his personal therapy could also help others.
“If I share the simple recipe of saltwater, surfing and talking about mental health I can prevent people from ever feeling the way I did,” he said.
Now, OneWave runs Fluro Fridays, a weekly surfing free-for-all and a 12 week program that includes scheduled recovery talks for people to share.
“I wanted to create a community where people feel safe to talk about mental health issues,” Grant explained, “I wanted to give them hope by giving them a chance to catch a wave.”
As well as helping with the participants’ mental health, the activity of surfing has added structure and routine to their lives, which many find important as they attempt to tackle their problems.
Since setting up the initiative two years ago, One Wave has inspired people around the world to set up similar programs on other beaches worldwide.
Fluro Fridays are free for everyone and start at 6.30am on Bondi Beach.