Wave of change as surfing events focus on mental health

  • Surfing WA and World Surf League to work with the McGowan Government through Healthway to support Western Australian’s mental health and wellbeing at its events
  • This includes the world-renowned Margaret River Pro and Surfing WA’s young surfer’s programs

For the first time, the McGowan Government will work with the World Surf League and Surfing WA to support Western Australian’s mental health and wellbeing at surfing events over the next two years.

The surfing events include one of the most watched international events on the World Surf League’s Championship Tour calendar, the Margaret River Pro.

Surfing WA’s programs and events that will support young surfers’ mental health include the Pathway to the Pro Series, Statewide Learn to Surf Programs, WA School Surfing Titles, All Boardrider Clubs and Affiliated Surf Schools, and an Indigenous Leadership Program.

State Government funding of nearly $700,000 will be used by these surfing organisations to strengthen community mental health and wellbeing.

Staff will also receive mental health first aid training, and high-profile athlete event ambassadors will be present to promote positive mental health and wellbeing.

In addition, the Think Mental Health message will be promoted at the surfing events.

As stated by Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:

“The State Government’s partnership with the World Surf League and Surfing WA provides a fantastic platform to create positive mental health and wellbeing at a community, State, national, and international level.

“These partnerships allow us to directly engage with the surfing community and younger generations on how to proactively look after our mental health.

“Both organisations have a genuine commitment to making a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of Western Australians, and we look forward to the positive community health outcomes these partnerships will bring.”

As stated by Sports and Recreation Minister David Templeman:

“This is a fantastic partnership and one that will benefit young people in particular.

“Sport is a wonderful tool to have in your mental health first aid toolbox as we all know that being active, being part of something bigger than ourselves and committing to something is not only fun, but also psychologically beneficial.”

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