Kiwis crave advice to support young people

15 Jul, 2015

New research by Common Ground shows another side to youth mental health.

Nearly three quarters of the New Zealanders surveyed say it’s the responsibility of the community, not just the immediate family, to support young people who are experiencing personal issues however only 23% say they felt they could help out, with 15% saying they would like to help but don’t know how or don’t feel equipped to help.

Common Ground is a dedicated website for those helping troubled young people is part of the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project and developed with collaboration from the Mental Health Foundation, Youthline, Skylight, Innovate Change and Curative.

The new research shows that communities really want to help, Dr Theresa Fleming, University of Auckland psychological medicine senior lecturer and youth mental health advocate says.

“Mental health is not just up to the experts. If family, friends and communities reach out, then no-one needs to struggle alone. This research highlights that Kiwis do care, and with a little info and support all of us can make a difference.”

Common Ground is unique in that it brings together youth-focused organisations to answer to the appetite for information, tools and strategies, created and curated just for New Zealanders, Common Ground project manager and Mental Health Foundation service development manager Moira Clunie says.

“No one person or organisation has all the answers about how to support young people to grow up well. Common Ground fuses together youth services, research evidence and advice from real people who have supported young people through hard times.”

The research, conducted independently with 1,000 adults from around the country, coincides with the release of a new web-isode focusing on the challenging topics of sexuality, identity and bullying, starring Shortland Street and feature film actor Beulah Koale.

Read more about Common Ground’s new research.