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CE's Pen - Support young people's wellbeing

November 2018 - Like the title of a rather forgettable 2010 movie, we all want to believe that “The Kids are All Right”.  Unfortunately, there’s increasing evidence that’s not true. 

NZ’s youth suicide rate is the worst in the developed world, a significant worry for parents, communities and the young people themselves.  As part of Stuff's recent 
Polite Rebellion feature, a survey with 84 student leaders from across Auckland found that 86% were “very concerned” about mental health and youth suicide, while the remaining 14% were “somewhat concerned”. That's 100% concerned to some degree.

Meanwhile, a recent analysis from Unicef, 
An Unfair Start, shows that New Zealand’s education system is one of the most unequal in the developed world.  Worse still, New Zealand students report the highest rate of bullying in the entire survey, with just on 60% of students saying they had been bullied at least once a month over the past year. The same report shows that bullying has a more significant impact on achievement in New Zealand than in most of the other countries in the survey.  

Fortunately, there is increasing recognition of the importance of mental health and wellbeing.  At COMET we’ve been thinking about the importance of relationships at all stages of life, the central role of talk, and the value of emotional literacy. 

We can all make a difference for young people’s wellbeing, whether that’s in the classroom, workplace, home or community. Over the next few months there’s also an opportunity to have a say on how government can better support young people’s wellbeing by
making a submission on the Child Wellbeing Strategy.