Grant Trebilco – Breaking Stereotypes of Mental Health Issues Through Surfing


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Grant’s Wild Idea: To educate and raise awareness about mental health issues through surfing in bright colors, sharing his personal story, and starting a movement.

Grant Trebilco is the creator of One Wave is All it Takes (OneWave), a nonprofit tackling mental health issues, literally one wave at a time. The organization started in Australia, and has quickly gained worldwide attention through its “Fluro Friday” events, where participants surf in bright colors and wild outfits, drawing attention to a darker issue. I met Grant while surfing in Australia, participated in a few of his events, and have been inspired by his story. Because he had an experience he was willing to share, Grant’s organization has helped numerous people around the world, both in the water and on land. By doing so, One Wave has become an international movement with coverage in outlets like the BBC. Thousands of people at hundreds of beaches participate in Fluro Friday OneWave surf sessions every week.

Listen to this Episode if:

  • You have or someone you know has struggled with mental health.
  • You love surfing.
  • You’re passionate about a good cause.
  • You want to surf in fluorescent colors.
  • You want to start your own nonprofit.
  • You love Kiwi and Aussie accents.

Key Takeaways

  • 4:00 – Grant’s own struggle with depression and anxiety.
  • 7:30 – How Grant gathered the courage to tell his friends about his mental health issues.
  • 8:40 – Grant’s first time surfing in fluro colors.
  • 11:10 – Where Fluro Friday is happening around the world.
  • 13:40 – How OneWave changes people.
  • 16:30 – Why you might want to start your own nonprofit.
  • 18:30 – What catapulted OneWave into the mainstream.
  • 19:40 – Why they don’t take donations for Fluro Friday.
  • 20:45 – Why social media can be dangerous.
  • 22:10 – Grant’s mantra that he uses the most at Fluro Friday events.
  • 23:50 – How to help someone with mental illness.
  • 25:00 – What to do if someone is thinking about taking their own life.
  • 26:20 – The differences in mental health systems in different countries.
  • 29:00 – Grant’s self care rituals.
  • 31:00 – Advice for Grant’s 15 year old self about mental health.
  • 34:30 – Why Grant stopped watching TV.
  • 36:15 – Inspiration from a New Zealand rugby player with anxiety.
  • 38:45 – How to find a Fluro Friday near you.

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