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Press Release

12 May, 2008

For Immediate Release Provides Depression Support for Young People

"The organizers of 'Toran's march' raise important issues about young people getting help for depression when they need it" says Daniel Maaka, from Lifeline.

Young people have higher rates of depression and suicide than adults but often they don't realise how serious it can be or where to get help. is a website that has been created to help young New Zealanders understand and recover from depression. Daniel Maaka is the team leader of The Lowdown Team, trained counsellors who provide free online and text-based support services for young people (text 5626). Visitors to the site can share their experiences and offer support to their peers on forum. The website also features a range of useful fact sheets that give advice on dealing with depression and difficult situations that could trigger depression, like being bullied.

Daniel says, "The website is the first point of contact for many young people who are unsure where to go to get help when they are feeling down. The Lowdown website and support team is there to help young people to 'get to a better place'."

The Lowdown has received many texts and emails from young people who have experienced physical or emotional bullying. Daniel highlights a worrying trend, "Something that seems to be increasing on the Lowdown is contact from young people who are experiencing text bullying."

Bullying affects people of all ages and can happen in school, the work-place or even at home. It can have a big impact on the victim's mental health and well-being. Daniel states, "Our aim is to support everyone who contacts the Lowdown team with care and respect. We help people to increase their own support networks and if they are being bullied to tell someone they can trust like a parent, teacher, someone at church or a school counsellor. We are also great at listening."

Feed back about the site and support team has been very positive with one piece of feedback from a visitor to the site summing it up, "It is one of the most accessible and interactive sites I have used, it felt real. Like it was applicable to me and the issues I have. Cheers for your support and advice it's been great, you do very good work."

Where to get help:

If you want to chat about how you're feeling, or you've got any questions, you can:

Text The Lowdown team for free on 5626.

Email them in the Chat section of . You can also ask them to give you a call back if you want to talk on the phone.

Kidsline: is where you can talk to a Kidsline Buddy - a bit like an older brother or sister who is trained to help callers. Call any weekday between 4-6pm on 0800 Kidsline (0800 543 754).

What's Up: is a free phone counselling service for 5 to 18 year-olds. It operates 7 days a week from noon to midnight on 0800 WHATSUP (0800 942 8787).

The Depression Helpline: is a free counseling service for anyone worried about depression. Call 0800 111757.

Youthline: Youthline provides a free, confidential and non-judgemental telephone counselling service. They will listen to you and help you talk through your problems. You can call toll-free on 0800 37 66 33.

Lifeline: is a nationwide 24-hour counselling service on toll-free 0800 543 354.


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