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Resiliency - Successful Connections

MEDIACOM-RELEASE-NZ-ASSOC-ADOLESCENT

RESILIENCY - SUCCESSFUL CONNECTIONS

Attn: Health Reporter

The New Zealand Association for Adolescent Health and Development (NZAAHD) proudly presents the 3rd Pacific Rim Conference of the International Association for Adolescent Health: Resiliency - Successful Connections, being held at Lincoln University 25-28th June 2000

The modern reality is that youth are the only age group in NZ who have not had an improvement in their health status over the last 40 years. To date Government policy and health services have tried to identify risks that lead to poor outcomes. What we see are rising rates of drug use, violence and suicide. Clearly new strategies need to be found.

Leading research and innovative programs that aim to build resilient young people is the focus of this international conference. Experts from NZ, the Pacific and the USA will meet with youth, parents, health and education workers, politicians and policy people to discuss what are effective ways of supporting the healthy development of our youth.

Keynote speakers from the University of Minnesota, Professors Robert Blum, Michael Resnick and Linda Bearinger, are one of the highlights of the conference. Each of these 3 professors is a world authority, together their research and practical application of resiliency is assisting communities grow healthier young people around the world.

Robert Blum is a consultant to the World Health Organisation, Pan American Health Organisation and UNICEF. Linda Bearinger has lead a research project that has measured indicators of emotional health among indigenous young people in North America. Her research depicts a tragic picture of desperation and despair yet lessons learned teach that these young people, even those living with enormous adversity, can improve their odds if connections to family and schools are strong and sustained, and inner resources are developed through the learning of life skills. Michael Resnick is the Director of the National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Research Center which conducts research, and provides post-graduate education, training and dissemination of best- practices information on effective approaches to teenage pregnancy prevention and health youth development. As part of the massive survey of 90,000 young Amercians in the mid 90's Michael presents compelling data to support the impact protective factors have in building resilient youth.

The Conference will be attended by around 400 delegates. Nearly will be youth who work with youth. The conference will be opened on Monday morning by Laila Harre, Minister for Youth Affairs.

The full programme follows:

ENDS

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