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Youthline working to prevent youth suicide

Youthline working to prevent youth suicide
Press Release

Youthline is saddened to learn of the latest suicide statistics released by Chief Coroner Neil Maclean.

The statistics show an increase in death by suicide for the 15-19 -year-old age group over the past year from 56 (2010/11) to 80 (2011/12).

Youthline is working to help prevent deaths by suicide in several ways.

“We are available to assist young people and their families through hard times and crises. The support options we have available include: our 0800 helpline, free text 234 service and face-to-face counselling. Specific support available for families includes free texting ‘FS’ to 234 and our Parent Talk email service: parenttalk@youthline.co.nz

Youthline also run youth development programmes in schools and the community which focus on building young people’s resiliency to cope with challenges.

These programmes help young people to understand who they are and support them to develop positive communication skills. All of this instils them with greater self esteem and lets them know that it is ok to reach out for help if they need it.

Over the past eight months Youthline has experienced an increase in requests from the community to come and talk with their young people following a completed suicide.

“We’ve stepped up our postvention response recently, tailoring it to suit the situation, but most often our response includes providing guidance to adults, teachers and community leaders and running groups with young people.”

One programme Youthline has available is ‘PROPS’ which stands for Promoting Resilience and Opportunities through Peer Support. This 8 week programme is run for 16-20 year olds who have been affected by a sudden death.

The focus of groups like ‘PROPS’ Is to educate adults and young people about grief, find healthy ways to cope with their grief responses, provide a safe environment to talk through their reactions and learn how to support their friends during this time.

Alongside this community education work, Youthline have been looking into ways of reaching young people via social media.

Currently this work involves monitoring public facebook pages and identifying any at-risk youth through their posts. Once identified support is offered as appropriate.

If you need some support for yourself or someone you know, Youthline can be contacted via the following:

Phone: 0800 37 66 33
Free Text: 234
Web: www.youthline.co.nz

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