OneWave Port Stephens Launches Fluro Salty Saturdays On World Mental Health Day

Chris Wigmans-Lake with baby June, Tara Jackson, Karen O’Toole, Jodi Hooker and Jesse O’Toole are gearing up for the first Fluro Salty Saturday for Mental Health. Photo: Mitch Lees.


THIS Saturday is World Mental Health Day and some locals have launched the Port Stephens arm of OneWave, which is a non-profit surf community, to tackle mental health issues with a simple recipe of fluro, saltwater, surfing, good friends and open conversations.

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OneWave Port Stephens founders include Tara Jackson, Karen O’Toole, Alex Warden, Roxy White, Chris Wigmans-Lake and Jodi Hooker who will be holding monthly free Fluro Salty Saturday’s at local beaches for mental health.

The first Fluro Salty Saturday will run from 6:30am this Saturday at Birubi with the meeting point at the Robinson Reserve carpark where participants are encouraged to get colourful in fluro and hit the waves, or simply hang out with mates swimming or doing a bit of yoga.

OneWave spokesperson Jodi Hooker said that the initiative was all about helping people open up about their mental health issues in a safe and fun environment.

“This is a judgement free zone where people can come down and just feel comfortable about talking about challenges that we all face,” said Jodi.

“We want to raise awareness through fluro, surfing and saltwater therapy.”

Karen O’Toole knows that not everyone surfs or is completely comfortable in the ocean so there’ll be free yoga sessions to coincide with the aquatic activities on the day.

“We’ve got free yoga going on so you can bring your mats down plus we’ll have the guys from Port Stephens Surf School helping people with water confidence,” said Karen.

“Everyone’s invited and it’s open to all ages and abilities.”

Karen and the OneWave Port Stephens crew are urging all residents and visitors alike to get in their fluros and check out the free event.

“Fluro really starts a conversation and gets people asking why we’re dressed up,” said Karen.

“It’s about starting a conversation!”

Fluro Salty Saturday runs from 6:30am at Robinson Reserve, Birubi the 10th of October.

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If this story has raised any concerns for you or loved ones please contact your GP or call LifeLine on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636.


By Mitch LEES

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