ASB partners with Youthline to boost youth mental wellbeing

"We want rangatahi to know that whatever's going on, it's ok to reach out and ask for help," bank CEO says

ASB partners with Youthline to boost youth mental wellbeing

ASB has joined forces with Youthline in a three-year partnership that will see the bank providing financial and in-kind support to boost the youth development organisation’s activities as its principal partner.

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Helping young Kiwis for more than 50 years now, Youthline has experienced a significant spike in levels of demand and risk across its services since the COVID-19 outbreak. During last year’s lockdown period, its helpline managed the highest number of critical incidents in a single week in the organisation's 51-year history.

“New Zealand is currently facing a youth mental health crisis, and the uncertainties of the past two years have unfortunately accelerated this trend, as many young Kiwis have experienced disruption to their social connections and usual way of life,” ASB CEO Vittoria Shortt said. “ASB wants to accelerate the mahi Youthline's doing and help support even more young people.”

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Youthline’s research found that young people, aged 13-24 years, consider mental health to be the biggest issue facing their generation, and almost half of young Kiwis don’t feel they have positive ways to cope with their problems, up 10% since 2019.

Youthline CEO Shae Ronald said the new tie-up means the organisation can be there for more young New Zealanders “when it matters.”

“We're incredibly excited to be working alongside ASB to create new ways of supporting rangatahi as an outcome of our partnership,” Ronald said. “Work is already underway to develop a new student-led mental wellbeing programme for schools. The new programme involves Year 11 and 12 students (ages 15-16) and will launch in five Auckland-based schools next year before being introduced to more schools nationally from 2024.”

The programme aims to strengthen access to wellbeing support within schools and the community by recognising the important role that teens can play in helping other young people access appropriate mental-health support.

“ASB’s ambition for the partnership is that any young New Zealander who is struggling knows they can reach out to Youthline for support,” Shortt said. “We want rangatahi to know that whatever's going on, it's ok to reach out and ask for help.”

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