By Tilly van Eeden
You have probably already heard of our new charity partner, Youthline — over their nearly 50 years of operation, Youthline have become a household name, providing much needed support for hundreds of young people across Aotearoa everyday.
What you may not know is just how important their services are for young people. They are the first point of contact for many youth seeking support services, and according to Colmar Brunton, the Youthline helpline is known as “the number one place for young people to reach out to for support”. Last year the helpline was contacted more than 246,000 times.
A lot of the support Youthline provides is associated with mental health. Two in five of the texts Youthline’s team are replying to from young people are around depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicide, with one in five of these texts being about suicide.
A young person who recently benefited from using Youthline said that the helpline enabled them to talk to someone when they were feeling super low, and having someone to talk to made them feel less alone.
Covid-19 lockdowns have had a huge impact on the mental health of young people, with implications such as loss of social connection, family violence, and significant financial hardship.
Shae Ronald, Youthline’s CEO, says “It is absolutely vital that the voices of our young people are heard as the reduced social connection and peer friendships experienced during lockdown add to significant mental health issues already facing our rangatahi.”
In a survey conducted by Youthline in April, 72% of respondents reported the Covid-19 lockdown having an impact on their mental health. This has caused Youthline to see a 50% increase in young people seeking support from their helpline.
Youthline receives $90,000 annually from Oranga Tamariki, and has to fundraise to meet the $1 million it takes for them to be able to operate. This has been especially difficult this year, as fundraising revenues have dropped as demand has increased.
It’s so important that Youthline are able to close this fundraising gap so they can continue to make Kiwi youth feel less alone, especially in these uncertain times. It’s easy to help – just donate to Youthline through our Good Registries and Gift Cards.
Even small contributions can make a big difference!
- $10 gives one young person much needed support
- $30 allows Youthline to respond to 120 texts
- $60 keeps Youthline’s phone, email, and text services operating for one hour
- By Tilly van Eeden