Zifune (Find Yourself)

A randomised control trial of a second-wave life skills intervention, delivered to Thula Sana infants in their adolescence to prevent interpersonal violence

Participants who previously participated in a randomised control trial of the Thula Sana (“Hush Baby”) programme were re-randomised into this new intervention trial called Zifune (“Find Yourself”).  The programme is a solution-based life skills programme for adolescent boys and girls, delivered over 8 group sessions.

South Africa:


Cape Town

449 adolescents


Assessed at baseline, immediate and 3mo post-intervention 

Community-based life skills programme

Helping Adolescents Thrive (HAT) Initiative

An initiative to promote adolescents’ emotional wellbeing, mental health and functioning, and prevent mental health conditions, risk behaviours and self-harm in order to improve health across the lifespan

Initiative activities include the development of World Health Organization Guidelines through a systematic evidence review to identify interventions for adolescent mental health. Findings from the evidence review was used to develop a HAT intervention package. 




Evidence review, programme components analysis


multi-component intervention

HASHTAG: Health Action in ScHools for a Thriving Adolescent Generation

HASHTAG: Health Action in ScHools for a Thriving Adolescent Generation is a school-based health improvement intervention for young at-risk adolescents (11-12 years) in South Africa and Nepal

We are using principles of human-centred design and co-production to develop two strategies for Project HASHTAG, with adolescents and other relevant stakeholders. Strategy 1, Thriving Environment in Schools (TES), is a school climate improvement strategy and Strategy 2, Thrive Together (TT) comprises an adolescent psychosocial intervention.

South Africa;


480 adolescents


Baseline and

post-intervention follow-up

Climate improvement; 

psycho-social intervention

If I Were Jack: Young men and unintended pregnancy

Working with local stakeholders in Lesotho and South Africa to co-design contextually relevant versions of the evidence-based, gender-transformative If I Were Jack (JACK) intervention

JACK is an evidence-based, user-informed educational intervention targeted toward young people aged 14 years designed to prevent teenage pregnancy and promote positive sexual health.

South Africa;




Advisory groups;

needs assessment; intervention mapping

Gender transformative intervention 

Teaching Recovery Techniques (TRT): Supporting adolescents exposed to traumatic events

Screening for trauma in high school students and delivering a group-based trauma recovery intervention

This project consists of a large screening study among high school students to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of trauma and adversity on their mental health. A feasibility randomised control trial tests an adapted group-based programme that aims to address the trauma-related distress children can experience following traumatic events.

South Africa:



(13-17 yrs)

Universal screening; baseline, immediate and 3mo post-intervention 

Teaching Recovery Techniques (TRT)

MMAP: Measurement of Mental Health Among Adolescents at Population level

Adapting and conducting gold-standard validation of existing measures of mental health problems among adolescents

MMAP aims to generate a survey module of valid and reliable instruments for the age-group 10-19, which could be used in population-based surveys to generate data on the prevalence and burden of mental health conditions among adolescents.

South Africa:



(10-17 yrs)

Gold standard validation of mental health measures




Saving Brains: A long-term follow up of the Thula Sana birth cohort

The long term impact on child cognitive and socio-emotional functioning of an intervention to enhance the mother-infant relationship

Children from the original Thula Sana sample were followed up again at 12-14 years of age, to assess the long-term impact on child cognitive and socio-emotional functioning of the Thula Sana intervention.

South Africa:



(12-14 yrs)


follow up of the Thula Sana birth cohort





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