Think Mental Health

“Our goal is to facilitate total wellness using the water around us, leading to a state of true “swellness”. Surfing WA and Healthway have partnered to promote positive mental health and wellbeing in the surfing community.”

Mark Lane- Surfing WA CEO

Black and White Image of Single Fin Surf Board

Following the successful 25-year-long promotion of the SunSmart message through the Slip, Slop, Slap campaign, we are pleased to see the positive behavioural changes among our Surf School participants and members. However, we acknowledge the unfortunate rise in death by suicide within our surfing community and have redirected our health promotion message to focus on ‘Think Mental Health’, resulting in Surfing WA and Healthway joining forces to champion mental health and wellbeing in the surfing community.

The ‘Think Mental Health’ education campaign is part of a comprehensive approach in Western Australia, that aims to build mental health and wellbeing, and reduce mental health issues, with a view to reducing Western Australia’s suicide rate.

Our campaign has been divided into two phases:

Phase 1: Community Awareness

In this phase, the focus is on increasing awareness of positive mental health and wellbeing practices amongst boardrider clubs and their members. Surfing WA and Healthway will work together to implement opportunities for mental health awareness, including conducting workshops and incorporating the ‘Think Mental Health’ campaign.

To kick off the campaign, Surfing WA collaborated with Healthway and the World Surf League (WSL), during the 2023 Margaret River Pro to host a workshop for the Presidents and committee members of WA Boardrider clubs. The workshop featured Filipe Toledo as an ambassador, who shared his insights and experiences.

Phase 2: Community Capacity Building

In the second phase, the emphasis shifts to building mental health capacity within Surfing WA networks. Community education and training will be provided to interested members through targeted events, activations, and workshops.

In addition, Surfing WA has developed 6 key messages as a way to promote mental health support and raise awareness:

  1. Look After Your Mates“: Emphasizing the importance of caring for and supporting friends, particularly during difficult times.
  2. Talking and Listening are Powerful“: Highlighting that anyone can initiate a conversation about mental health and that simply being there for someone can make a difference.
  3. Reach out if things get too rough“: Encouraging individuals to seek help and support when facing challenging situations.
  4. Mental health challenges can affect anyone“: Aiming to reduce stigma and promote understanding and compassion towards those experiencing mental health issues.
  5. Engage in relaxation“: Emphasizing the importance of self-care and stress reduction through activities like meditation and enjoyable pursuits.
  6. Maintain connection with something you love“: Reminding individuals to prioritize their hobbies and interests to find relaxation and fulfillment.

To promote these key messages, Surfing WA encourages actions such as looking for warning signs, talking and listening to others in a comfortable environment, reaching out for help and support, reducing stigma around mental health, and engaging in relaxation activities. The key messages emphasise the importance of maintaining connections with loved ones and spending time in a natural environment, particularly the ocean and waves, which can provide relaxation and rejuvenation.

Surfing WA will collaborate with professional mental health organisations, local authorities and community leaders to develop and implement comprehensive strategies for mental health promotion, awareness, and support within the surfing community.


The first part of a comprehensive toolkit was distributed at to Presidents who attended the 2023 Margaret River Pro and can be downloaded here.

Surfing WA working with Healthway to Promote Mental Health

Event Tips

Providing tips and suggestions for implementing mental health and wellbeing initiatives in clubs and sporting groups, this document aims to foster a supportive environment.

Coordinator Description

Focused on seeking expressions of interest to become a Mental Health Coordinator in a club, this document emphasizes promoting positive mental health and wellbeing in the community.


Containing the Surfing WA Mental health and wellbeing key messages, these posters serve as effective tools for raising awareness and connecting individuals with support services, both within and around the club.

Language Matters

Highlighting the significance of using respectful and hopeful language in discussions regarding suicide and mental health, this document aims to combat stigma and promote help-seeking behaviour.

Supportive Conversations

Offering a tip sheet on conducting supportive conversations with individuals in need, this document prioritizes mental health and wellbeing support.

Where to Find Help

Help Providing comprehensive information and resources, this document serves as a guide for individuals seeking help and support for mental health issues.

Critical Incident Response

Overview Focusing on the critical incident response plan and guidelines, this document outlines procedures for managing immediate health, safety, and wellbeing during crises.

Where to get further help?


If you feel someone is at an immediate risk, or is in a life-threatening situation, call triple zero 000.

Mental Health Emergency Response Line (MHERL)

If you or someone you know needs mental health support or would like to talk with someone that can help, contact the 24-hour telephone service, call:

  • 1300 788 (Metro)
  • 1301 1800 676 822 (Peel)
  • 1800 552 002 (RuralLink)


Beyond Blue

Free online and telephone support for anyone feeling anxious or depressed.

1300 224 636


Support for anyone in a crisis situation.

13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service

Telephone, online and video counselling for people 15 and over. Professional support for anyone who is: feeling suicidal, worried about someone else or who has lost someone to suicide.

1300 659 467

Alcohol and Drug Support Line

Confidential telephone counselling, information and referral services for anyone seeking help for their own or another person’s alcohol or drug use.

9442 5000 (Metro) or 1800 198 024 (Country)

Mensline Australia

Supports men and boys dealing with family and relationship concerns.

1300 789 978


Please note: This brief guide does not capture all sources of information available. To find services near you, visit which provides information about community and private organisations who provide local mental health and alcohol and other drug services within Western Australia. Visit or for more information. Thanks to SportWest, The mental Health Project, Flowstate Marager River, Headspace and the support of Healthway.