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Youthline helping young women to stand tall

15 July, 2013


Creating communities where young people do well is a priority for Youthline.

The wellbeing of young New Zealanders is under the spotlight following the first Sovereign Wellbeing Index. The index, conducted by AUT University, found that young women aged 18-20 were less likely to be flourishing than almost any other group in society.  A core reason cited for this is because they tend to feel disconnected from their communities.

Youthline Auckland’s Acting CEO, Glenda Schnell says reaching out to young people in their early teenage years is essential to developing resilience and fostering positive outcomes for later life. One vehicle Youthline uses to reach young women in particular is the Standing Tall programme.

Standing Tall is a leadership programme targeted at 13-17 year olds which aims to provide them with a safe environment to explore who they are and where they fit into the world,” explains Schnell.

The eight week programme is tailored to the specific needs of the group and will typically cover topics such as communication, assertiveness, goal setting, self esteem and more.

“All young people need to feel supported, heard and valued. Programmes like Standing Tall meet these needs and inspire the participants to be who they want to be.”

The index noted that wellbeing levels were highest for people who ‘led purposeful and meaningful lives and were engaged and interested in their activities’. Youthline’s Youth Service aims to support young people to become involved in meaningful education and employment activities.

“We work directly alongside the young person to put together a customised action plan that will ensure they are involved in activities that are a good fit for them,” says Schnell.

‘Supporting and helping others’ was listed as one of the five ‘winning ways to wellbeing’ in the index.

“Youthline has various volunteering opportunities available where young people can become part of the Youthline community and support their peers through our youth helpline services.”