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The South African Youth Experience

By Kerry Rudman, founder of Brain Harmonics.

by Media Xpose

This Friday is National Youth Day in South Africa, with this mind, we thought we would look at what the South African Youth are currently facing and how we can make this journey easier for them.  Some of the challenges youth in South Africa face, include high levels of unemployment, limited access to quality education, economic inequality, crime rates, and social issues such as substance abuse and violence. Additionally, they may encounter psychological and emotional stressors related to these challenges, such as anxiety, depression, and trauma.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there have been reports of increased mental health concerns among teenagers and our youth, including anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. The reasons for some of these ailments include:

1.            Education Disruptions: School closures and the transition to online learning have affected students’ academic progress and learning outcomes. Many youth faced difficulties accessing online education due to limited resources, such as loadshedding, internet connectivity and devices. Learning loss, lack of educational support, and the need to catch up on missed curriculum content are some of the challenges they may be grappling with.

2.            Unemployment and Economic Challenges: The pandemic has caused widespread job losses and economic downturns, affecting young people’s employment prospects. Many youth, including recent graduates, are facing increased competition for limited job opportunities, leading to higher unemployment rates. Financial instability, uncertainty about the future, and difficulties in securing stable income are some of the economic challenges they may be experiencing.

3.            Mental Health Struggles: The pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health and well-being of youth. Isolation, disruption of routines, fear of contracting the virus, and increased stress have contributed to higher levels of anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness. Grief and loss due to the illness or death of loved ones may also impact their mental well-being.

4.            Social Connections and Relationships: Restrictions on social gatherings and physical distancing measures have limited social interactions, affecting the development of social skills and peer relationships. Lack of opportunities for socializing and engaging in extracurricular activities may lead to feelings of isolation and hinder personal growth.

5.            Future Uncertainty: The pandemic has created a sense of uncertainty about the future. Many youth’s feel unsure about their career prospects, educational pathways, and overall life goals. The disruption caused by the pandemic has forced many to reassess their plans and adapt to new circumstances.

6.            Health and Well-being Concerns: COVID-19 has brought attention to the importance of health and well-being. Youth may be more conscious of their physical health and hygiene practices, as well as the need for preventive measures. Concerns about future waves of the virus and its long-term impacts on health may also be prevalent.

So how do we help the youth to overcome these obstacles and become happy, functional citizens? Traditional talk therapies are a great option but can often either be frowned upon by society or are excluded as an option as many of the youth are not prepared or are possibly unable to talk about what is causing them to feel the way they feel.

An alternative option is Neurofeedback therapy. Neurofeedback is a non-invasive technique that aims to improve brain function and regulate brainwave patterns. While its effectiveness may vary for different individuals, it has been proven to do the following:

1.            Mental Health: Neurofeedback assists in alleviating symptoms of anxiety, depression, and trauma by promoting better emotional regulation and reducing stress levels.

2.            Cognitive Enhancement: Improved focus, attention, and memory are beneficial for students who face educational challenges or need to enhance their academic performance.

3.            Emotional Regulation: Neurofeedback helps individuals develop better emotional control and regulation, leading to increased resilience and the ability to cope with stressors effectively.

4.            Performance Optimization: South African youth involved in sports, arts, or other competitive fields often benefit from neurofeedback as it enhances their performance by optimizing brain function and concentration.

5.            Personal Growth: Neurofeedback sessions promote self-awareness, self-reflection, and personal growth, empowering young individuals to make positive changes in their lives.

6.            Stress Reduction: South African youth facing socio-economic challenges and other stressors may find neurofeedback helpful in managing stress, improving overall well-being, and promoting a sense of calmness.

Brain Harmonics is non-invasive. Neurofeedback is the science of changing brain waves by giving your brain real time information about where it is at. It is like showing your brain itself in a mirror, so if you have learnt to stand on one leg (to cope with stressors and traumas), Brain training shows your brain how to stand on 2 legs which is balanced, it is very hard to go back to standing on one leg when you know that 2 is easier.

Contact us to see how we can help – Branches in Alberton, Benoni, Blairgowrie, Douglasdale, Meyerton, Midrand, Roodepoort and the Strand

Central contact no 083 266 9183


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