Managing depression is like being lost at sea, treading water. Things are OK while the water is nice and calm but, when a storm kicks up or the swell rises, life becomes a struggle..

On Phillip Island in the past year, too many men have committed suicide. Our rate of male suicide and depression is significantly higher than other parts of Victoria and Australia. There are many reasons why men on the island feel overwhelmed, despondent and hopeless. When faced with these feelings or feelings of depression, most men don’t seek help or the support of others. This is part of our male culture and something that we can’t easily change.

What we know and what can make a difference is men finding an outlet to help them ‘ride the blue wave’. That is, having an activity that allows them to take their mind off the troubles at hand and concentrate on exercising the creative side of their brain. When given an opportunity to participate in this type of activity with other like minded men, an informal support group and coping mechanism is formed.

This is the premise behind Riding the Blue Wave. As a mental health and human service professional for the past 25 years and a professional photographer, I intimately understand the debilitating condition of depression and how photography can offer a creative outlet to assist overcoming those times of deepest despair. By focusing on seeing light as a photographer and focusing on the way light, shade and colour define shapes and capturing these in images which you can creatively edit or manipulate, our right brain is exercised and temporarily blocks out the depression haunting the left side. And through interacting, learning and shooting with other men who may also be significantly impacted by depression, we each understand and identify with the other.

Riding the Blue Wave is a free and voluntary support group for Phillip Island men suffering from depression or the symptoms of depression facilitated by local photographers and human services professionals. We meet each Sunday evening 6:00pm at Woolamai Beach – where the ramp leads down to the beach. If you or someone you know are interested in attending or want more information either show up. Check dates and times via the Facebook Page

If you want more information, have a question or want to start a Riding The Blue Wave support group in your area, contact us.

%d bloggers like this: