The surf therapy program is aimed at promoting physical and mental well-being, combining sports with collective games designed so that, in a fun and respectful way, participants can improve their personal well-being, achieve self-confidence, self-esteem, and drive. your emotions, achieve assertive communication and improve your interpersonal relationships. The designed program lasts one year, but due to the context of COVID-19 we had to adapt the program to be delivered online. In the first 7 months, the program was face-to-face, in which we worked with 89 boys and girls aged between 8 and 14 years old.
To achieve this, we made the following specific objectives:
- Strengthen trust and self-seen
- Increase control of stress
- Increase self-efficacy
- Develop social-skills
- Increase emotional intelligence
To measure and evaluate the impact of the program, we use three tools to measure each participant’s progress:
- Warwick Edinburgh Wellbeing Scale.
- Strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ).
- Word association.
3.1 Warwick Edinburgh Wellbeing Scale.
Figure 1: As you can observe in the graph, the average mental wellbeing of the group increased from 24.0 to 25.9 indicating an improvement in the mental wellbeing of the participants.
Figure 2: in order to have a better understanding of the results, we analyzed individual items of the WEWS before and after our intervention.
3.2 Strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ)
Figure 3: The total score of difficulties decreased slightly, from 18.50 to 18.30. This indicates that the participants expressed a decrease in the level of difficulty they faced in their day to day lives throughout the duration of the program
Figure 4:in order to have a better understanding of the results, we broke down each area of measurement.
3.3 Social Support
Figure 5 and 6: After the program the mentros of the surf therapy project became another source of support for the children who participated in the program. These results showed how those who worked in the program developed into their role as mentors using the skills they developed during their training program.
The Surf Therapy program was effective and created a positive change in the participants before being interrupted by COVID-19. In the six months that the program ran, it increased the overall well-being of the participants.
We remain dedicated to our mission and we are working to replicate this service as it positively impacted many young boys and girls in Alto Peru and other communities. The pandemic caused us to adapt and redesign our surf therapy program to a blended model. We have also focussed our energy on training sports facilitators who will then be in charge of multiplying the impact on other young people.
It is also worth mentioning that the mental health of the population has been considerably affected by the pandemic and this interventions in contact with nature help improve mental health in children and youth. Attachments: