Children and adolescents are most vulnerable to the long-lasting effects of stress, which result in social-emotional and behavioral issues later in life. Consequently, children with unresolved stress are more likely to demonstrate aggression, suffer from depression and anxiety, perform poorly in school and abuse drugs and alcohol.

Chronic, ongoing stress negatively impacts the mental, emotional and physical health of children, adolescents and adults worldwide.  Unresolved stress can even impede lower brain centers responsible for self-regulation, memory and learning. To learn more about how stress affects the brain and health click here.

South Africa is an exquisitely beautiful country where a multitude of cultures blend and eleven official languages are embraced. Despite its cultural appeal, South Africa also remains a complex country where children and families experience violence, infectious disease, poverty, unemployment and lack of  healthcare. 57% of the population lives below the poverty line and there is a 24% unemployment rate. For many families, it is a daily struggle to meet basic needs. Nationwide surveys show that at least five million adolescents and adults have been exposed to one or more violent events in their lifetime. 80% of these have one or more symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Lionhearted Kids

WHY                                                                                                                                                           Children and families who experience chronic unresolved stress need support in order to heal. Very few free, or affordable, resources exist for them. As of 1998, South Africa lacked a formal mental health policy for children. Although there were approximately 1500 clinical psychologists in South Africa, less than 20% of these were practicing in the public sector (Milne & Robertson 1998). Our mission is to provide services that give children, adolescents and families the tools and strategies to face challenges with dignity and strength.