Bringing mental health issues out of the dark and into the open is no easy task, but every Friday at 6.30am the OneWave crew meets at South Bondi for Fluro Friday – decked out in their brightest and wildest outfits – in order to do just that.
The aim is to remove the stigma so often attached to mental health issues, raise awareness and get people talking about it and to each other. They also have a heap of fun while they’re at it! Today OneWave celebrated its second birthday with the help of over 800 people who, in a powerful show of unity, held hands along the Bondi shoreline and formed the longest Mexican fluro wave.
As the sun rose over the bay, the whole beach was alive with positive vibes, laughter, the widest smiles and some heartfelt and inspiring words from OneWave’s founder, Grant Trebilco.
Grant, who started the non-profit surf community (with his mate Sam Schumacher), has a simple recipe for success, “Saltwater, surfing, good people and Fluro Fridays.” Surfing that one wave and having the courage to talk to pals about what you’re going through could be the first steps to becoming free of the funk of mental illness – something Grant knows only too well after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Every Friday for the past two years Grant and other OneWavers have bravely shared their stories and given hope and solace to anyone who’s feeling in a funk.
Even though I haven’t been affected first hand by mental health issues, I’m proud to be a part of a group that’s as inspiring as OneWave and can see how it is making a real difference in the Bondi community and beyond. With today’s Fluro Friday being held at more than 31 beaches around the world, Grant and the OneWave crew have begun what is sure to become a chain reaction of hope and understanding around the globe, and that is pretty heartening.
No one should suffer in silence. It’s time to step out into the light. If you are affected by mental illness or worried about someone who may need a little help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 lifeline.org.au or Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36 beyondblue.org.au
Feeling blessed, BBx