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New website crucial for youth - Mahuta

5 December 2007

New website crucial for youth - Mahuta

Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says the Ministry of Health’s new interactive website, www.thelowdown.co.nz, which helps young people to understand depression, is vital.

“The ability to access an online service could help young people make better decisions about where to go to if they think they need someone to talk to if they are facing depression, anxiety or dealing with grief and loss,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“A service like this exists in Australia, called beyondblue, which assists youth-based programme, youthbeyondblue, to focus on youth depression awareness and prevention as a whole.

‘’I had the opportunity to hear first hand from young people who were involved in its design and operation, and they were strong advocates for access to services such as this,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

The website is part of the Ministry of Health’s national depression initiative, which was initially launched last year with television commercials featuring former All Black John Kirwan talking about depression and will have contributions from some of the country’s top celebrities including singer Brooke Fraser, rapper Scribe, and former All Black Ma’a Nonu.

Nanaia Mahuta praises the effort of key parties whose work has provided what she believes is a much needed service.

“I want to congratulate the Ministry of Health and all those involved with this online web-based service for young people,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“The Ministry of Health, alongside social development, education and employment are key partners to assisting positive youth development, and I applaud the work they’re doing in improving access to services for young people.”

ENDS

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