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Relief for kids at Christmas - call 0800WHATSUP

13 December 2007

Media release

Relief for kids at Christmas - call 0800WHATSUP

Children and young people suffering the pressures of Christmas can call 0800WHATSUP - open noon to midnight, seven days a week, every day of the year.

"We keep the lines open because we know that while Christmas can be a great time of year if you're surrounded by close families and good friends, it can be a challenge if you're not," says Grant Taylor, Executive Director of What's Up, the free telephone counselling service for five to 18 year olds.

"While friendships and bullying are the main reason kids call 0800WHATSUP the rest of the year, family relationship issues leap to the fore around Christmas and New Year."

"Family tensions may escalate under the pressure on everyone to meet expectations regarding gifts, hospitality or to get on happily with one another without the opportunities to 'escape' to work or school.

"Some children and young people can feel very alone and isolated if everyone else seems to have a prosperous and happy family compared with their own situation. Others become bored and irritable because they are away from their friends."

"No problem is too small or too big for the telephone counsellors at 0800WHATSUP," says Grant.

"As well as giving callers the chance to talk through things on their own terms, our trained counsellors can teach then techniques that will help them resolve future issues as well as the problem at hand. Even quite young children can be good at working out how to deal with their problems if they are given the right kind of help."

ENDS

http://www.whatsup.co.nz

0800WHATSUP (0800 942 8787) is a free, confidential, professional telephone counselling service for five to 18 year olds. Callers can speak free of charge to a trained counsellor between noon and midnight, seven days a week from any telephone in New Zealand, including mobile phones. Callers are welcome to ring with any issue, no matter how small.

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