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Waves of Wellness Foundation

Waves of Wellness Foundation are a mental health and surf therapy charity, promoting positive mental health and wellbeing through their range of innovative programs. Their programs break down the barriers and stigma that prevent people from being well. Get wet and have a good time, they say. It’s simple enough, but the message runs deeper: it’s OK not to be OK, and you don’t have to – ever – go through it alone. 

Who they are

Our vision is to see a world where people understand mental health as a normal part of everyday life. Where ‘invisible’ mental health issues are treated like any other physical injury. Where there’s no social stigma, and people struggling don’t have to go it alone.

The kid with the broken arm is a hero among his or her friends, but people experiencing mental health issues don’t always have the same support. Our mission is to implement innovative programs that break down the barriers and stigma of traditional mental health treatment and support. Small ripples make big waves – by empowering individuals with tools for wellness, we’re making positive waves which strengthens community connection.

What we do is straight forward, we save lives through surfing. Using trained mental health professionals as surf coaches, we’re delivering innovative mental health support programs on a whole new level. Thanks for getting on-board (pun intended) and backing the vital work we do. Together with the support of our global community, we’re jumping in and tackling mental health head on.

-Joel Pilgrim, co-founder and CEO of WOW


To me, men’s mental health is incredibly important. Traditionally men don’t open up, or find it harder to say so when they’re doing it tough. I’m stoked we are providing a setting which has a huge impact to the lives of men who through our Movember men’s programs. I can’t wait to see a world where men talk openly about, and work towards openly managing their own mental health, just like they do by going to the gym to pump weights.

Joel Pilgrim, co-founder and CEO of WOW

Our interview with them

Why is what Waves of Wellness does important?

Being with WOW over the last few years, I’ve been able to see a bunch of people come through the programs and everyone’s experience is unique. That being said, some of the testimonials and feedback that we’re getting from participants shed a great light on what their experience was like.

We’ve had some say that the program has saved their life. Some have said that it’s given them a fresh start and newfound confidence. From my experience, the biggest thing that’s noticeable that changes over those eight weeks is that sense of confidence and self-esteem that forms.

Some initially never picture themselves surfing let alone being a good surfer. So when people actually start to make those positive steps, even if it’s just bodyboarding into the beach or catching a wave on their knees, there’s this sense of joy. You can really see a change in their demeanour and their self-esteem. I’ve had a participant tell me, if surfing is something I can do, then what else in my life did I think I couldn’t do, but actually have a chance of achieving. Seeing that, self-belief and empowerment change over the eight weeks is something that we see a lot of. The ability to connect socially in a fun environment, I think is one of the most important things that makes the program so successful. Also, just the inherent nature of surfing, getting into the ocean and having that very cleansing experience, gives people that sense of self-esteem and, and positivity that is so important.”


    Videos to watch

    Support Waves for Wellness

    Do you like the mission of Waves for Wellness and would love to support them?

    Stay informed by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
    Help them run their surf therapy programs by donating right here.
    Follow their journey by following their website or learn more by reading the interview our editor did with them.

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