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PM's Youth Mental Health Project progressing well

Paula Bennett

23 April, 2013

Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project progressing well

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is pleased with progress on MSD-led initiatives within the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project.

The Project aims to significantly improve the way the Government supports young people with mild to moderate mental health problems.

“MSD has contributed $12.2 million in funding over four years towards eight specific initiatives, all of which are progressing on-track or ahead of schedule,” Mrs Bennett said.

“One of these initiatives is increasing the presence of youth workers at low decile secondary schools.”

“By Term 2 this year 3,800 Year 9 and 10 students in Auckland schools will have access to a Youth Worker, who are specifically trained in recognising and dealing with mental health issues in young people.”

By Term 3 this year a further ten Youth Workers will also be in place in Northland, Hawkes Bay, and Wellington secondary schools, bringing the total number of Youth Workers in this initiative to 19.

Services for young people are also available at Youth One Stop Shops. Twelve of these centres have received $50,000 one-off funding each through another initiative, which aims to help them provide health and social services to youth.

The Social Media Innovations Fund, launched in February, has received $2 million in funding to help service providers use technology better to engage with young people at risk.

Young people have been teaming up with mental health experts, businesses and online designers during ‘Lifehack’ weekends held in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch this month.

“From the Auckland event we’ve already seen three new prospective projects – two smartphone apps and an online tool – move into the development phase,” Mrs Bennett said.

“These young people have some fantastic ideas about solutions to mental health problems that work for them, and the ‘Lifehack’ events are connecting them with people and organisations who can help bring those ideas to life.”

Dunedin will host the final ‘Lifehack’ event this weekend.

“The Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project is about ensuring young people with mental health issues get better, sooner, and more effective support,” Mrs Bennett said.

“This means developing resources and support that are more modern, relevant and attractive for young people, which the initiatives underway are achieving.”

ENDS


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