Research, Learn and Adapt

We refine and improve our service through research partnerships with universities, participating in communities of practice, and creating spaces for child and youth voices to influence programme design / delivery.

Research Partners

Closing the Treatment Gap on Mental Health

Waves for Change’s community-based surf therapy prevents escalation of mental health cases in children and adolescents. This is how we aim to close the 90%+ treatment gap in child & adolescent mental health services in South Africa.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

HRV is an indicator of capacity to self-regulate, adaptability to adversity, self awareness, and coping styles. At W4C we use HRV to measure the impact surf therapy has on children.

Surf Therapy for Neurodiverse Children

Our smaller, bespoke morning programmes are for children on the autism spectrum, at risk of exclusion, and those at risk of being in conflict with the law due to issues such as gang involvement.

How children construct and assign meaning to self

How Waves for Change was designed.

Feelings of safety, social connectedness and children’s spaces are central to the ways in which children construct and assign meaning to the “self.” This is central to Waves for Change programme design.

When I surf I feel happy

The active ingredients of Surf Therapy.

Empirical evidence on which parts of a Surf Therapy programme improve well-being, and how these parts can be optimised and used to proliferate surf therapy to other post-conflict settings.

Exploring Surf Therapy & Youth Well-being in Sierra Leone

Promising findings with our Wave Alliance partners in Sierra Leone, who proliferated Surf Therapy to Freetown in 2020.

Get a Child to the Beach

Just a ripple can make waves and change lives through surfing and child-friendly mental health.