Are we looking after our youth?

Ministry of Health figures have revealed that a growing number of young New Zealanders are battling psychological distress, depression and anxiety. Photo YIPA.com

By Brett Jones

Cession Community is running this event as part of our wider commitment to serving youth and families in the Howick community.

A growing concern that we share is the increase of anxiety and depression within the wider youth community.  Ministry of Health figures have revealed that a growing number of young New Zealanders are battling psychological distress, depression and anxiety.

The percentage of 15- to 24-year-olds struggling with mental health issues has been steadily increasing from 5 per cent five years ago, to 8.8 per cent in 2016 and 11.8 per cent in 2017.

Some estimates suggest the numbers of young people experiencing psychological distress have increased in the past year from 58,000 to 79,000.

Our work in the schools where we have 2 youth workers (Pakuranga College and Botany Secondary College) and our weekly Youth Drop-In programme only confirm this to us.

Recent events reported in the news media have only heightened the local community sense of helplessness and a growing community desire to do something positive to support families and teens.

We decided to target a series of courses for parents that would support them in some of the key areas that we felt would offer benefit.

We identified – Mental health and Anxiety, Net Safety alongside Relationship and Parenting support.  We approached the Howick Local Board for funding and they really came to the party.

The first course kicks off tonight at the Depot – Tricky Teens with well-known presenter John Cowan.

It’s being followed by a Net Safety course on Thursday September 27.  Parenting and Relationship courses are scheduled for the 2nd term in 2019.

Volunteers from Cession Community church are supporting the event which is running at the Depot in Lloyd Elsmore Park (behind the netball courts).  If people are interested they can register at trust@cession.org.nz.

The event is free thanks to the Howick Local Board’s support.

  • Brett Jones is chairperson of Cession Community

Tricky Teens, Thursday August 23, Thursday August 23, 19:30–21:00, 

The Depot, Sir Lloyd Drive, Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga.

Hosted by Parenting Place