Support urged for Waves for Change 'Therapy Sessions' campaign
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Cape Town - Surf therapy organisation Waves for Change is appealing to the public to support its newly launched campaign, “Therapy is now in Session”, for young people in violence-prone and struggling communities.
Relationship and events manager Tania Bailey said Waves for Change operates Beach Safe Hubs in coastal communities affected by violence, poverty and conflict, where mental health services are often stigmatised and under-resourced.
“Working in partnership with local community members, we identify, train and provide resources to community coaches to deliver the Surf Therapy service,” said Bailey.
Waves for Change started as a voluntary weekend surfing session at Muizenberg Beach, by founders Apish Tshetsha and Tim Conibear in 2009.
The non-profit organisation was officially registered in 2011 with programmes now running at Muizenberg, Monwabisi, and Hout Bay, as well as in Port Elizabeth and East London.
On who the sessions are targeted at, Bailey said, “Children and young people, exposed to repeated trauma and adversity, who feel negatively about themselves and are unable to cope with difficult thoughts and feelings.”
Each of the 1 800 children who participate are referred from under-resourced communities where access to mental health services were extremely limited, said Bailey.
Waves for Change training intern Jamie Lee David said participants have become more hopeful and resilient through the sessions.
“Most participants enter the programme feeling negative and hopeless. I think it all starts with their caring coaches. Their coaches don't judge their feelings, they encourage them to share their feelings and to learn how they can manage their emotions,” David said.
“Their coaches also celebrate their successes, no matter how small, that brings out a sense of hope in our participants, and they slowly start to develop a positive mindset. They start believing in themselves because they are being seen, they are being heard and they are being celebrated.”
Each participant joins for one session a week, over 40 weeks. Waves for Change have appealed to the public to donate towards a session at R110 or a few sessions.