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Advise South African youth on two preventative measures that can help in combatting risky behaviour

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There are many ways South African youth can combat risky behaviour, including finding a healthy hobby, learning to stand their ground and getting help if needed.

The combination of hormones, peer pressure and the urge to begin asserting oneself as an individual means that risky behaviour can specifically become a problem during the teenage years. If you are a teenager or youngster looking to avoid these types of behaviours such as unsafe sex, delinquency and substance abuse, then perhaps the following could help:

Find a healthy hobby: You may feel like experimenting or venting anger. Finding a hobby that allows you to spread your wings or get out any pent-up emotion may prevent you from experimenting with substances or expressing your emotions in a destructive manner.

Learn to stand your ground: There will be times during your youth when someone will try and get you to do something that you do not really want to. Learning to stand your ground, saying no and walking away can help you avoid succumbing to peer pressure. If you struggle with this, practicing in the mirror can help.

Get help if you need it: If you are currently struggling with risky behaviour or simply need someone to talk to, you should seek counsel from someone wise that you trust. For example, a parent, teacher, counsellor, or any mental health professional.


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