A local mental health charity has launched their annual mental health campaign to help raise awareness about good mental health and wellness.
The Waves of Wellness Foundation’s (WOW) ’DUCKtober’ campaign aims to challenge people to immerse themselves in cold water for the first 20 days of October to help raise funds for WOW’s surf therapy programs.
WOW said whether it’s the beach, a pool, a dam, a shower, or an esky full of ice, people can take a quick duck under the cold water to help strengthen their mental and physical health.
National Programs Manager, Robert O’Hara, said “It’s all about getting people out in the water – cold water therapy has shown to have numerous benefits both physically and mentally so it’s a really positive strategy,” O’Hara said.
“Mental health effects 100 per cent of people – everyone can have their good days and their bad days, so it’s incredibly important to raise awareness and destigmatise as discussing these issues in a non-judgemental space will allow people to address it in their daily lives.
The funds raised will go towards WOW’s free surf therapy programs which help provide psychoeducation and surfing lessons to empower people.
“We combine therapy and surfing – it helps promote really helpful lifestyle practices,” O’Hara said.
“Our programs are run by mental health professionals who are also qualified surf instructors, so the money will go back into the programs to ensure they are at their highest quality.
“We know costs can be such a barrier that prevent people from accessing support.
“During lockdown we haven’t been able to access the beach so we have run virtual programs on Zoom.
“People have been very eager to sign up even in that virtual space which goes to show the importance of those discussions – to have social connections, meaningful discussions and have a space to come together.”
For more information about the fundraiser, or to donate to the cause, visit: https://ducktober2021.raisely.com/