NO, it’s not the fishiest election stunt ever; Fremantle mayor and aspiring state politician Brad Pettitt agreed to do his bit for men’s mental health recently by posing in nothing but a fetching blue merman’s tail for a quirky calendar that’ll be launched next weekend.
The Mermantle Calendar was the brainchild of local freediving fanatic and yoga/meditation coach Tania Douthwaite, who’s hoping to use sales to help get young men under water.
Ms Douthwaite, who’s also studying counselling, said she first noticed the calming effect of freediving through her own long experience in the sport and believes its linked to the breathwork needed and the connection to the natural marine environment.
“There is strong evidence to suggest learning freediving as a contemplative practice can provide positive wellbeing benefits,” she said.
Ms Douthwaite has been working on the initiative with FremantleMind Inc, a grassroots community mental health organisation that works to “change the way mental health is viewed and strengthened in a community setting”.
She said the idea for the calendar came after she saw a Canadian version featuring pot-bellied blokes, and decided the Freo one should be linked to the sea.
The response was overwhelming from her Facebook followers.
“Everyone wanted to be a merman and do something positive for men’s mental health,” she said.
Being a photographer as well, she took all the images in the calendar, including some where the models got the chance to try a bit of underwater diving for themselves.
Ms Douthwaite said she’s still working on distributing the calendar, and is hoping Freo council will help out, but keep your eye out for details on her Blueback Freediving & Yoga Facebook page or www. bluebackfreedivingandyoga.com