Supporting our young people 

I hope the first week of term 4 has gone well.

In a recent column, I spoke about supports that were available to parents and caregivers of children and the process for making a report of concern if you fear for the wellbeing or safety of a child.  I also know that some of our youth are themselves struggling with their mental health and wellbeing – anxiety, disconnection and the negative effects associated with social media.

It can be hard for any person to open up and be vulnerable, and sometimes even harder to know where to go for help, counselling and general support.

Earlier today, I had a conversation with representatives of 24-7 Youthwork about their engagement in our community and the E Tu Tangata programme, which instills the belief that each individual has value, that we can succeed together and that others matter.

I applaud them as well as our schools for the hard mahi they are doing to support Cambridge youth and also recognise the recent involvement of other organisations such as  “I am Hope” locally in this space.

If your child is struggling and isn’t ready to speak to a friend or family member, there are independent organisations they can text or phone to contact a trained support person/counsellor for a korero and advice.

The following are just a text or phonecall away : – Youthline,  0800 376 633 or free text 234, What’s Up?, 0800 942 8787 or www.whatsup.co.nz , The Low Down, 0800 111 757 or text 5626,  and  1737 (text or call) is a nationwide support line. Sparx, 0508 4 Sparx (0508 477 279) or free text 3110,  is a self-help e-therapy tool for youth (12-19yrs) and also offers a helpline.  Lifeskills Cambridge also provides free counselling to primary age children in Cambridge (www.lifeskills.org.nz).  Cambridge High School also has school counsellors on site.  Where cyberbulling is an issue, there is also help available. Netsafe has a lot of information online at https://netsafe.org.nz  .

On another note, just a reminder that for reporting historical incidents, you can phone 105 but also, you can access it online via the Internet at 105.police.govt.nz . Reporting online also enables you to upload any photos at the same time.

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