One Wave is All it Takes – Fluro Friday Celebrates 2 years with Roisin Carolan


Story by Roisin Carolan

Mental illness is real and it needs to be talked about.

When you look at the stats of mental health it really does suck.

Nearly half of Australians (45%) will experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime.  We lose nearly 7 people everyday to suicide in Australia, with many more attempts on top of that. Suicide is also the leading cause of death of Australians aged between 15 and 44. But, despite these huge figures there is still a lot of stigma attached to having a mental illness.

The One Wave Is All It Takes  community dress up in fluro clothes to start a conversation, to draw attention to mental illness and help de-stigmatise it. Surfing can have such a positive impact on someone’s life. That one wave could change your day, week, month, year or life. And I think if you’re a surfer, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

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One Wave co-founder Sam Schumacher says “The Onewave idea started with a love of the surf & the profound benefit it has to mental well being & it’s ability to connect people. Fluro Friday was a ‘beautifully random’ occurrence that came from Grant leaving Fluro zinc on during an ‘awareness raising dress-up surf session’. From this came the colour, which was serendipitous, as Fluro is a bright and positive colour that helps to shine a light on mental health issues.”

Sam continues “The message is simple really essentially we want to help to reveal to people that we are all similar in that we are pursuing the same goal- to be happy. The Onewave movement should reach people anywhere & everywhere. Because so many people struggle in silence, it’s important that we all do our bit to make it ok for people to feel comfortable with talking about mental health issues.”

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Today we donned the fluro for World Mental Health Day. Our group was very small compared to the likes of Bondi. But the cause was big. We went out and showed mental illness who was boss by surfing the funk away in perfect little runners at Wategos. Sam says “Fluro Friday is a chance for people to show society that it’s ok to not be ok & that sometimes surfing on that one wave is all it takes to help get you through a funk.”

Fluro Fridays are so much fun! The party waves and all round good vibes have everyone grinning from ear to ear for the rest of the day. This initiative really does change lives. If you live near a place that does fluro Fridays I highly recommend joining in on the fun, if not do what I did and start one up at your local beach!

Finally as Sam puts it “Every persons recipe for mental wellbeing is different & is a journey to find. Catching one wave out there in the surf can be that catalyst to inspire the positivity & hope that things can get better. It’s through surfing & communication with the good people around you that hopefully can inspire people to make the changes in for the better.”

If you or a friend or loved one need help please reach out! Visit ONE WAVE IS ALL IT TAKES for more info and support numbers.

(All photos by Roisin Carolan)

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