The Government has announced a funding boost to Youthline to provide extra mental health and wellbeing support to rangatahi around the country, Health Minister Andrew Little says.
“Nearly $1 million will be invested into Youthline to provide additional clinical support which will mean the service can help thousands more young people who need it,” Andrew Little said.
The Minister of Health made the announcement today while visiting Youthline’s Auckland Central hub.
The funding is in addition to an initial investment provided last year as part of the COVID-19 mental wellbeing response to boost Youthline’s capacity to provide online support to young people.
“Supporting Youthline means we are supporting young people across the whole country to be able to connect with someone who cares and can listen if they feel they need some help,” Andrew Little said.
“It is critical young people have a broad range of support they can access, that is youth-friendly and reflects their specific needs. Those needs have become more pressing with many young New Zealanders affected by the uncertainty of COVID-19 and its potential disruption to their social connections, financial stability, studies and living arrangements.”
Youthline’s CEO, Shae Ronald said the additional funding from the government will make a huge difference by ensuring we can be there for more young people.
“It’s encouraging to see increasing numbers of young people reaching out for help. We want people to know that it’s okay to not be okay – and that help is available if they need it. “Youthline makes that help available to all young people around the country, at no cost, and providing a choice of phone, email, webchat or text support,” Shae Ronald said.
“We really want young people to know that they don’t have to wait until they reach crisis point, they can get in touch any time they want support.”
As well as supporting Youthline, the Government is funding a number of youth-specific mental health and addiction services around the country.
“Providing mental health services that are specifically designed for young people is one part of increasing New Zealanders’ access to and choice of mental wellbeing support,” Andrew Little said.
New and expanded services for young people have now been announced in 10 DHB areas. In February government also provided nationwide funding of $4million for the first time for Rainbow Youth mental health.
Further announcements for new and expanded youth services in more regions are expected in the coming weeks.