Everyone can get on board with Waves of Wellness to raise awareness of mental health issues this October by getting wet in some way each day. There’s also a great launch for the initiative that involves a surf in your business suit!

October is Mental Health Month in NSW and Waves of Wellness (WOW) are putting out the challenge to get in the water every day of the month. By getting ‘webbed feet’, they will take on the ‘Ducktober’ challenge from Thursday 1 to Saturday 31 October, 2020. From anywhere in the world, WOW encourages you to ‘Immerse for a Month’ – whether through surfing, swimming or taking a cold shower – and raise the importance of mental health, receive the positive mental health benefits of immersing in cold water, whilst raising vital funds to support WOW’s surf therapy mental health programs, to help more lives, in more communities, across Australia. 

WOW uses the metaphor of bringing a duck’s battling – and overlooked – webbed feet to the surface in order to help break the stigma of mental health struggles. “Last year WOW Chairman Adam Barringer and myself set our own Ducktober challenge to surf every day during October,” says Waves of Wellness CEO Joel Pilgrim. “There were days when it was a struggle to maintain the commitment, but we did it! It was a wonderful reminder that if we share a common goal with the people around us, they can support and encourage us to keep going, even when we just want to stay in bed. “This year we’re taking the Ducktober challenge global and I’d encourage everyone, no matter where you are in the world, to get involved, especially in light of the challenging year we’ve all had.” 

To officially kick off Ducktober, there will be a ‘Board’ Meeting Launch at Manly Beach, NSW, on Thursday October 1st, 6am to 8am AEST. Participants will swap their wetsuits for corporate business suits to have a board meeting of a different kind… on surfboards. “We’ll be putting our best suit forward, thanks to Australian fashion label, SABA, who is proudly supporting this year’s Ducktober campaign. We’ll also conclude the festivities with a ‘Board’ Meeting Finale event, at Manly Beach, NSW on Saturday October 31st, 6am to 8am AEST.”

How to get involved

● Anyone can register and sign up online at https://wowducktober.raisely.com/

● Share your commitment and your ‘why’ for getting involved with this mental health campaign with friends, family and colleagues. 

● Raise funds as you commit to surfing, swimming, bodyboarding or taking a one-minute cold shower everyday, at your local beach, pool or if isolated, your own shower! 

● PLUS – register to attend the Board Meeting Launch or Finale via the WOW facebook event. Or hold your own Board Meeting in your own area. Share with us using the hashtag #WOWDucktober.

About WOW 

Waves of Wellness (WOW) Foundation is a mental health surf therapy charity, committed to changing lives through innovative support programs for people experiencing mental health challenges. Established in 2017, WOW has directly impacted the lives of over 1,000 people through our surf therapy programs, providing people with the skills and strategies to manage their mental health. 

Why Ducktober? 

It’s not all fun and games, WOW is responding to the current climate, by raising the importance of mental health and social connection during these socially distant times. WOW continues to work overtime to find new ways to support its community, particularly with mental ill-health conditions on the rise. Ducktober is a unique way to unite us all, share a common goal and help spread the WOW ripple effect wide and far. 

Mental health during COVID-19 snapshot

● The World Health Organization (WHO) has noted elevated rates of stress and anxiety.

● 78% of people say their mental health has worsened since the COVID-19 outbreak. 

● Beyond Blue has seen a 30 percent spike in contacts with as many as one in three calls to their existing support service about COVID-19. 

● Health experts have seen a rise in levels of loneliness, depression, substance misuse, and self-harm or suicidal behaviour.


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