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Youthline launches its new online space

July 10, 2014

Youthline launches its new online space

Youth development organisation Youthline is broadening the way it interacts with young people on July 11 with the launch of its online community.

The digital space is a completely redesigned website, with accessible, interactive information and refreshed content. This includes an extensive information hub, self-assessment tools, moderated peer to peer social media platform, a customised content feed and ongoing new features and updates. Some of these updates will include web chat and video counselling, as Youthline works to make getting help as accessible as possible.

This project was made possible thanks to the generous support of Vodafone New Zealand Foundation, and World of Difference recipient Jackson Darlow. The creative and technical expertise of Darlow has challenged Youthline to grow and think big in the digital realm.

“It’s all about connecting with the Youthline audience, young people, their supporters and the community, on their level,” Darlow said.

The new platform provides localised content, events and programmes that reflect your location in New Zealand.

The relevance of the new online community has been reinforced by the recent Youthline commissioned Colmar-Brunton youth survey which found that young people are turning to Google and other websites for help before family, friends and professionals.

Youthline has a history of pushing itself to be on the cutting edge in order to provide the best possible service to young people. With a client base known for its rapid adoption of technological advancements, Youthline works alongside young people to provide relevant support mechanisms. With the introduction of text counselling in 2006, Youthline pioneered an avenue for help which gives young people anonymity and autonomy in their counselling, significant given embarrassment is the single greatest barrier to young people asking for help.

In order to ensure Youthline’s new digital space would be relevant, young people were involved throughout its conception and development with Youthline Youth Advisory Groups reviewing each step.

As well as being a space to ask for and give support, it is also designed to be a space that illuminates and inspires youth-led community, business, and creative development and leadership.

“It’s an acknowledgment of how important it is to come alongside young people so they can make positive change and support others in their lives,” said Stephen Bell, Youthline Auckland CEO.

Youthline is also involved in several online projects as part of the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Initiative: SPARX, a computer-based E-therapy programme which uses computer game technology to help young people navigate their way through depression, and Common Ground, an online hub that aims to ensure parents, families and friends of young people will be able to recognise mental health issues and easily access the right information and support that leads to the young person getting the help they need.

This is just the beginning for the Youthline online community. The online community will develop through supportive feedback and new ideas. In partnership Youthline hopes to create an online space for young people looking to connect with peers, leaders and experts; a place where young people can find information, get inspired, receive and give support, and build community. Overall, Youthline is working to ensure that: young people know where to turn to for help; feel okay asking for help; can help a friend through a hard time; are engaged in things that light their fire and are supported as agents for change working with families and communities to make all this happen.

The Vodafone New Zealand Foundation World of Difference Programme finds passionate people who want to make a difference in the community, supports them financially and professionally for a year while they work for a New Zealand charity.


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