Published on 09/09/2021

Surfing NSW is pleased to announce a series of new mental health programs for the NSW surfing community on R U OK? day.

The new programs will be rolled out through the Surfing Mental Health 360 platform and will have touch-points up and down the NSW coastline, as well as online.

Surfing Mental Health 360 is a surf community-driven program connecting boardriders clubs, surf schools and local communities affected by drought, bushfires and COVID-19.

The Surfing Mental Heath 360 platform includes past, present and future collaborations with The Good Human Factory, The Rise Foundation, Man Anchor, Batyr, Mental Health Movement and Waves of Wellness.

“Surfing NSW is in a unique position to influence a hard-to-reach audience of boardrider clubs, surf schools and local surfing communities in our coastal regions, many of whom are at risk of poor mental health,” said Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden.

“Surfing NSW recognises the vital role that surfing can play in preventing, treating, educating and supporting sufferers of mental health. We have acquired funding from multiple sources to roll out specific mental health programs for our communities in the wake of the 2019/2020 NSW bushfires, COVID-19, recent shark attacks and other ongoing social issues faced by our communities.”

“We thank the Consumers Health Forum of Australia Youth Health Incubator Grant, Vinnies NSW Community Bushfire Recovery Grant Program and Randwick ClubGrants for their support over the course of the next 18 months to roll out much needed mental health programs that fall under our Surfing Mental Health 360 platform.”

Vinnies NSW Community Bushfire Recovery Grant Program
This grant will upskill 12 leaders in boardrider clubs to become “Surf Therapy Liaison Officers” by undertaking the Australian Mental Health First Aid accreditation with Man Anchor. MHFA is a purpose-driven, Australian based global provider of mental health first aid education. Upskilling our local community members will improve mental health literacy and practical action – building individual and community capacity.

NSW Mid-Coast and surrounds
Port Macquarie Hastings and surrounds
Shoalhaven / Ulladulla and surrounds
Eurobodalla / Dalmeny and surrounds

Consumers Health Forum of Australia Youth Health Incubator Grant:
Ride the Wave program: Surfing NSW will connect over 35 board rider clubs to the Good Human Factory. The aim is that together, they will use surfing to help young athletes gain the skills and knowledge that underpin good mental health, resilience and well-being. Each workshop is followed by a surfing experience session with NSW pro surfer Cooper Chapman. 

Far North Coast
North Coast
Mid North Coast
Central Coast
South Coast

360 in 2035:
Surfing Mental Health 360 project will partner with local Mental Health organisation “The Rise Foundation” to bring a surf-inspired youth mental health awareness program to Sydney’s east. This is a free event for 50 local teenagers that will stage on one day during 2021.

The #Letstalk Workshop (one hour course)
Grassroots mental health and well-being movement “Man Anchor” is a proud partner within Surfing NSW “Surfing Mental Health 360” project. In partnership, we create opportunities designed for discussion, education and action on mental health issues that affect our coastal communities every day.

Burritos and Banter
An evening Zoom session, with a focus on men’s Mental Health and featuring a handful of industry legends. Oh, and all participants score themselves a free burrito courtesy of Mad Mex. The night will take place on Thursday, 16 September. Register here

For more information, please check out

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