Perth Children's Hospital Surf Program

We are thrilled that the Perth Children's Hospital (PCH) will now offer children with chronic health conditions the opportunity to participate in the first-of-its-kind Australian surf program designed to improve psychological well-being.

The program was first run under a pilot project, 'Blue Healer,' which used surfing as a family-based intervention to improve the lives of children with cystic fibrosis. It was proven that the program was an effective therapy that improved the patient's physical and psychological wellbeing and their family relationships overall.  

Thanks to the pilot's success, the surfing program has now been put in place permanently and expanded to include children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes, cystic fibrosis, burn injuries, arthritis, and post-sarcoma injuries. Seeing as children who suffer from chronic conditions such as burn injury are known to be at greater risk of developing mental health issues than their healthy counterparts, programs such as this are vital for improving patient outcomes.

This intervention forms part of the multidisciplinary research project Move to Improve, which harnesses the concept of 'exercise as medicine', prescribing personalised physical exercise and health promotion advice as part of routine clinical care. Move to Improve is kindly funded by the Stan Perron Charitable Foundation and Perth Children's Hospital Foundation.

For post-burn patient Ruby, featured in the article below, the surf program has overwhelmingly positive benefits to her ongoing recovery in mind and body. It makes us incredibly proud to collaborate with the PCH Health Service and have children like Ruby participate in this holistic approach to health care that will provide long-term benefits and improve the psychological well-being of patients and their families.

Read more on the program and how it supports children like Ruby on their road to recovery here. 

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