31 December 2022

Youth Mental Health Crisis - A Parent's Survival Guide

It has long been known that New Zealand has the worst youth suicide rate of all 41 OECD nations - here in Godzone our young people are struggling. The pandemic has surely made things worse - isolation, disruption to lives, friendships, sports, and the added pressure of trying to learn online has heaped extra weight on our kids. So many young people are battling with hopelessness, overwhelm, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, depression and major anxiety. 

Having a child who is struggling with their mental health, watching your precious kid in intense emotional and mental pain is surely one of the worst things a parent can go through. Knowing how to respond, how to help and support them through it can be a confusing and lonely struggle. (Sadly, there is still so much stigma around mental illness, and it can be hard to reach out for help).

I am writing this from the trenches, for fellow parents of young people who are struggling. For the past four years, this has been my battle too. And now finally, I can see clear water ahead, and feel like I can share what I've learned.