18 - 11 - 21
The Good Human Factory - Cooper Chapman.
The Good Human Factory. Mental Health awareness

We sat down with Cooper Chapman, pro surfer and mental health advocate.... 

Tell us a little about yourself / upbringing  -
My names Cooper Chapman, I grew up on the beautiful Northern Beaches of Sydney in Narrabeen. I have 3 amazing sisters all doing great things in this world. My parents have always been a massive support for all of us to chase whichever dreams we desire. I began surfing at the age of 9 and haven’t looked back since. I represented Australia multiple times in the junior world games while still in high School. From there I have travelled all around the world for the last 10 years chasing my dream to get on WSL world tour. I now juggle my time between surfing and running The Good Human Factory and wouldn’t have it any other way.

How did your passion for mental health begin ?  
From a young age I was aware mental health was something to be conscious of. I lost an uncle when I was young to suicide, and have watched my dad battle with depression through a lot of my teen years.
This made me take some responsibility and work on my own mental health for both my career as a professional athlete but also someone who’s family has a history of poor mental health.
And when I began to see the statistics around mental health I knew I had to do something about it.
How did surfing impact your mental health ?
Surfing is everything to me. A place to be myself, a place to switch off from the world on land, and a place that allows me to let go.
There is something special about salt water. It seems to wash away any worries and help me get clarity in life.
What was the inspiration behind the good human factory ?
When my youngest sister lost 2 friends to suicide in her last year of school in 2018, I decided I needed to do something about it. I have always wanted to share my life experiences and inspire others to make health mental health decisions.
 And that’s why The Good Human Factory was born in 2019. The first year was very slow and not much happened, but when the pandemic hit it really allowed me to double down and put a lot more energy and time into the project.
Tell us a little about the workshops you do ?
My workshops focus on prevention rather than cure. I like to look at it as mental health maintenance. There is so many great facilitators and charities/businesses out there, but I realised so many of them focus on things like spotting signs of depression, anxiety and reaching out for help, which is super important!
But I wanted to do something I little different. My workshops focus on encouraging and inspiring my participants to build self-awareness and to live by values to maintain their mental health.
The 5 values I speak on are responsibility, mindfulness, gratitude, empathy and kindness. Skills I wasn’t taught about in school and that I discovered myself. So I aim to expose my participants to a new way of thinking about mental health.
What are your top tips for mindfulness ?
Meditate daily, even if its for 5 minutes a day. Try and find somewhere quiet, find a guided mediation on YouTube or even just sit alone in silence and focus on your breathing. Life is moving at such a fast pace now so many of us forget to check in with ourselves and listen to our mind. By meditating it gives us a better relationship with our thoughts.

Another great exercise is focusing on your senses to become present. To do this try and find somewhere alone, sit still, and focus 30 seconds on only what you can see, then 30 seconds with your eyes closed on what you can hear, then 30 seconds with your eyes closed on what you can feel . This is a great way to become present.
Also breath work is a huge game changer. Learning how to breathe correctly is a massive benefit. If you haven’t heard of Wim Hof I highly recommend checking him out on google or buying his new book - the Wim Hof method and learning the benefits and techniques he has developed.


To read more about the good human factory, head to https://www.thegoodhumanfactory.com/