More than 50 paddlers turned out in Port Macquarie to support the mental health service, headspace.
They brought or borrowed whatever watercraft they felt comfortable on, from paddle boards to canoes, to the Settlement Point Reserve on Sunday October 8.
The headspace Wellness Paddle for Mental Health Month was sponsored by Hastings Coffee Company and by Port Macquarie Sup Fun who offered discounts on hired boards.
Marine Rescue were kind enough to donate their time to support the event in case of emergencies.
Headspace is a free mental health service for young people aged 12 to 25 years old in Port Macquarie.
“We have clinical services and free youth activities, including paddle boarding in the summer months,” said Amy Scholes from headspace.
The event was all about having fun, and paddling almost six kms through Pelican Bay as far as the Sails Resort and back again, where a sausage sizzle was waiting.
“It’s about the community coming together to raise awareness for mental health, create a space to have some conversations, check in with each other and also promoting physical activity, which is good for mental health,” said Amy.
Julian Cole who took part on a paddle board, said mental health was a very important aspect of everyone’s health, including young people.
“It’s good to see these positives, which destigmatize mental health,” he said.
His father, John Cole, who was in a canoe with his two grandsons, said Port Macquarie was a very community-minded town and the event was for a great cause.