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  • Writer's pictureValpo Surf Project

Children around the world are facing a mental health crisis. We can make a difference!

Children around the world are facing a mental health crisis.

The past three years of unprecedented events have been difficult to navigate. The pandemic has exacerbated already present mental health issues among young people. A survey given to adolescents throughout Chile in 2022 revealed that 93% of respondents experience feelings of anxiety, 92% experience feelings of depression, 78% have self-harmed, and 72% experience suicidal thoughts. These statistics are incredibly worrisome as youth with these conditions are more vulnerable to social exclusion, educational difficulties, risk-taking behaviors, and poor physical health. Providing VSP activities and support from our team of educators and mentors that combat this crisis is more crucial than ever.

Here at Valpo Surf Project, we have seen a drastic decrease in the mental health of our students. Across our communities there are increased levels of agitation and stress, and the inability to confront difficult emotions and situations. Our school partners report that students are struggling with concentration across the board and become easily frustrated with themselves and their peers.

The current crisis signifies more than the suffering of a child. It strains schools and families, and at this scale, can impact an entire society. There is much to be done to face this challenge, and we are already working hard to meet the growing needs of our students, expand our operations, and include more kids in the program.

Our programming, with a strong focus on mental health, physical health and social-emotional learning, creates a sanctuary for our students. Surf sessions are safe and open spaces for our kids to positively channel their physical energy and address difficult emotions. Educational activities equip students with the essential academic and social skills they need to engage fully in school. Teachers share that students who participate in VSP show greater respect towards themselves, their classmates, and the environment.

We are proud to be here for kids during their most formative years and give them the support and tools to lead healthy, independent lives. The mental health challenges young people face are real and serious, but they are not insurmountable. With your support we can take them on together. Donate today.

We also accept donations via Venmo. Find us through the app @Valpo.

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