A new campaign has kicked off down under that puts mental wellness under the microscope.
Northern Beaches boys James Brodie and Andrew Smythe are raising awareness of mental illness and the importance of mateship as a way to overcome challenges, and in an unexpected twist, it involves competing in a gruelling 200km race.
While a 24 hour Wildside Adventure Race and battling mental illness don’t exactly go hand in hand, Brodie, a former pro athlete and JTrain Athletic Performance owner, says its actually more related than you’d think.
“Training for an adventure race with your mate is just the kind of thing to help get your focus off the difficult times and on to the physical challenges you can overcome,” he said.
The campaign also puts One Wave, an organisation that takes mental illness out of the mind and into the surf as a collective effort to improve mental wellness, into the spotlight.
“The hardest part of a mental health condition is admitting there is something wrong and actively trying to overcome it,” Smythe said.
“One Wave have been able to create a community of like minded legends all fighting their own battles but have built it around the power of surfing.”
Campaign manager Tatianna Alpert said it goes to show that a small business can have a big impact.
“What JTrain and Tradiefit have started, with nothing more than a little effort, is a fabulous new collaboration between a brand that flourishes off humour and joy for life to support those that have a hard time experiencing that very aspect we take for granted,” she said.
And iconic Aussie swimwear brand Budgy Smuggler has jumped on the bandwagon to support the initiative, collaboratively designing a range of fluoro Smugglers, with proceeds going to support the One Wave projects.
“One Wave is a perfect fit for us and not just because they’re local to us,” Budgy Smuggler GM Brend Hartmann said.
“They encourage fun in the sun with your mates and being as bright as possible – that’s what we’re all about, so naturally we wanted to get involved in any way we could to help.”
The Wildside Adventure Race was challenging and a number of teams didn’t make the full 200km, but mental illness still remains the biggest challenge, with over 45% of Australians experiencing a form of mental illness in their lifetime according to Beyond Blue.