News that Youthline has had a massive surge in calls is a real worry. Don't forget those latest (2007) suicide statistics which showed young maori men kill themselves more than 4 times more than the national average. Now is the time to be there for our rangatahi, now is the time to be available to them, to talk and listen to them. This time of year creates big pressures and many of us have not been taught very good coping skills. When it gets really tough there doesn't appear to be any way out, the answers are just not there. Keep your eyes open and spend some time with your tamariki and mokopuna.
"A major increase in calls to a youth helpline points towards "disconnect and distress" in society, Youthline chief executive Stephen Bell says.
This Christmas has seen a rise of nearly 70 per cent in telephone calls to the help line compared to the same period last year.
A survey of calls received on Christmas Day showed prevailing concerns included self harm, eating disorders, relationships (particularly with family), friendships, loneliness and the loss of friends, through death or otherwise.
A survey by the organisation of 600 youths in October found that embarrassment was the leading cause that prevented young people from seeking help. "There is always a danger that, if people need help and don't seek it, they will continue to withdraw from those around them putting themselves more at risk," Mr Bell said.It is positive that people are seeking help but invariably they will be the tip of the iceberg. A large number of young people will be struggling and embarrassed that they are struggling. Keep your eyes open. Thanks.