For those who have tried stand-up paddle boarding, it’s no secret it’s harder than it looks.
Yet it can be a great activity for promoting mental health and wellbeing—combining physical activity with connections to nature and opportunities to try a new skill—which is why Wesley Mission Queensland chose it as the basis for a mental health and wellbeing program.
Stand Together, is a four-week program for current and former Australian Defence Force members experiencing mental health issues. It aims to improve participants’ mental health and wellbeing through the known therapeutic benefits of exercise and mindfulness practice.
Funded through the Commission’s grants program, Stand Together aims to help reduce the disproportionate rate of mental health issues (in particular, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder) among serving members and veterans.
The program is delivered by Wesley Mission Queensland, in partnership with Mates4Mates and SurfConnect. Griffith University final-year psychology students assisted with developing a program resource kit to support participants.
At the halfway point of the project, feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive.
Following demand from Mates4Mates members on the Sunshine Coast, a fourth course is now planned for Currimundi.