A WAVE, a walk on the beach or some morning yoga is sometimes all it takes to begin a conversation between strangers, friends or loved ones.
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That is the premise of OneWave Port Stephens and with the launch of their first Fluro Salty Saturday at Robinson Reserve on World Mental Health Day last Saturday, it was indeed a glowing success.
It was a brisk Birubi morning with the westerly blowing but it didn’t halt the resolve of those who attended the 6:30am start as 30 plus constituents dressed up in their fluro attire to tackle mental health issues and raise awareness.
The event saw people come together from all walks as they sat to talk about their own mental health challenges in a judgement-free and casual environment before enjoying a wave, some yoga or just a coffee and a catch-up.
Kaz O’Toole, co-founder of OneWave Port Stephens, was blown away by the community support the group received and by those who openly and honestly shared their stories.
“I am really proud of what we have started and I was very emotional about the people that attended and just how many people are struggling,” said Kaz.
“We had complete strangers open up to us and tell us their story.
“I really hope we have helped them just a little bit and showed them they are not alone.”
With the next event set to take place on 7 November, it’s hoped more of the community will embrace the opportunity to attend the free events to keep conversations going and to break the stigmas around mental health.
“We have to thank everyone who joined us and can’t wait for the next event,” said Kaz.
For more information on upcoming events and the OneWave community head to: www.facebook.com/onewaveportstephens.
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