Reigning World Champion Filipe Toledo has lent his support to the Think Mental Health campaign, promoting positive mental health and wellbeing during the WSL Margaret River Pro.
Filipe has previously opened up about his own struggles with mental health and has made it a top priority to put his mental wellness first. He met with Boardrider Club Presidents and members from around the state to encourage the surfing and wider community to lead healthier more fulfilling lives both in and out of the water, and shared his tips for staying mentally healthy.
“I was going through one of the hardest times in my entire life and being able to come back and win a World Title was extra special,” said Filipe. “I felt like I had to go through that situation to be here today and be here to actually meet everybody and be someone that can support people that are going through the same thing as me… so be yourself, be real and there’s a lot of things that we have to be grateful for and we just gotta keep looking forward.”
Earlier in the day, an education workshop was conducted by Flowstate Margaret River Inc., in partnership with Surfing WA, Healthway, and the World Surf League. The workshop aimed to equip Boardrider Club Presidents and members with the necessary skills and strategies to facilitate constructive discussions on mental health and overall well-being.
Participants were provided with a tool kit with further information and resources in regions throughout the state.
“As surfers, we’re usually in pretty good physical condition, but this doesn’t guarantee our emotional and mental health,” said Surfing WA CEO Mark Lane. “In 2022 Surfing WA approached Healthway about its concern around mental health and wellbeing in the surfing community, and the need to be more active in this space. As a result, a new partnership was formed.
“Through the use of this toolkit, we hope to raise awareness, encourage conversations, and promote positive action towards supporting mental health and wellbeing within the surfing community.
“And with the support of Healthway, Surfing WA aims to provide more opportunities to promote positive mental health and wellbeing throughout regional WA.”
A Think Mental Health activation was also held at the WSL Margaret River Pro event, to increase awareness of positive mental health and wellbeing amongst the surfing and wider community.
Participants were able to win prizes by answering questions around good mental health practices and took part in screen-printing Think Mental Health designs onto tee-shirts and skateboards, created by members of the Concrete Club Margaret River, who provide an outreach service for young people.