"...art therapy or surf therapy, it helps starts conversations about mental health..."
We're so excited to be hosting the So Far So Good exhibition as a way of raising money for the mental health organisation, OneWave. We chatted to OneWave's founder, Grant, to learn more about him and the organisation.
Who is OneWave?
"OneWave is a non-profit surf community raising awareness for mental health with a simple recipe: saltwater therapy, surfing and fluro. Sometimes one wave is all it takes.
Since launching in Bondi in 2013 OneWave has held Fluro Friday events at over 150 beaches in more than 25 countries, raising awareness around mental health, reducing stigma and helping people free the funk."
Tell us about yourself:
"When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 6 years ago, the ocean, surfing and good people got me through. I have surfed all my life, but it was this time when I discovered that sometimes one wave is all it takes. We set up OneWave because I thought if we share the simple recipe of saltwater therapy, surfing and fluro, we could prevent people from ever feeling the way I did. That was how Fluro Friday's were born in Bondi 5 years ago, where we started surfing in fluro to let people know they don't have to face mental health challenges alone."
What are you looking forward to in So Far So Good?
"Everything! When Amy from Art Pharmacy contacted me about So Far So Good supporting OneWave, I was so stoked!
Using art to raise awareness of mental health on R U OK? Day is unreal. Whether it's art therapy or surf therapy, it helps starts conversations about mental health and helps people free the funk and that's what it's all about. The funds raised from So Far So Good are going to help OneWave get more people who are facing mental health challenges in the ocean and help us run more OneWave School Programs, which are going to change lives."
Why do you think it’s important to open the dialogue around our mental health?
"Too many people are facing mental health challenges alone and as a result we are losing on average 8 people a day to suicide. We have to do anything and everything we can to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around mental health, so people know it's totally ok not to be ok and ask for help."
What are some steps people can take if they’re having a hard time?
"Life is rad but it's also really shit sometimes, but you don’t have to go through it alone. The moment I realised it’s actually ok not to be ok sometimes is the moment I started to get better. There is so many people out there who want to help, you just need to reach out. Tell someone you can trust and go and talk to your local doctor and/or Lifeline (13 11 14).
It’s hard to see right now but you will be surprised at how many people are feeling just like you, everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Keep talking and get in the ocean as much as you can. Sometimes one wave is all it takes. If you can’t get in the ocean I find any exercise always helps clear my head and don't be so hard on yourself - talk to yourself like you would talk to someone you love.