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Christchurch City Council Media Release 17 July 2002


Youth forum to discuss mental health issues

Young people, mental health professionals and others working with youth are coming together in Christchurch this week to discuss mental health issues.

Called “A Shared Vision for Youth Mental Health”, the forum is taking place from 17-19 July at the Riccarton Park Function Centre.

Christchurch City Council Youth Advocate, Robyn Moore says the forum will look at issues such as whether youth can access help when they need it, whether health professionals really understand the life stresses that some young people face and how they find relating to young people.

“It is essential that professionals step back and listen to feedback from youth about service delivery, access to services and the pressures young people are experiencing on a day to day basis.

“These pressures can change from generation to generation and in some cases year to year, month to month or even week to week.

“For the professionals in this city to be willing to stand back, listen and learn from young people in a partnership model is truly progressive and I hope it leads to better experiences for young people who need to access mental health services,” says Ms Moore.

Day one of the forum is dedicated to youth, providing an opportunity for young people between the ages of 13-25 to share their thoughts, feelings, ideas and challenges with one another. Feedback from these sessions will be shared with conference attendees on Thursday. A local Kapa Haka group will provide entertainment.

The remainder of the conference is for people who work with young people, with presentations by keynote speakers and workshops. The keynote speakers are: Mr Lloyd Martin, Ms Hine Martin, Dr Sue Bagshaw and Dr Peter Watson. Mr Martin is a well-known youth worker based in Porirua. Ms Martin is a health consultant who lives and works in Taitokerau. Dr Bagshaw was instrumental in establishing a local free medical service for young people, additionally she has been involved many other local projects supporting youth. Dr Peter Watson is a specialist Youth Health Physician working at the Auckland based Centre for Youth Health. He is also the Co-Director of SPINZ (Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand).

The workshops will be presented within six streams: Learning for the Future; Mental Health, Well Being and Mental Illness; Trauma and Violence and its Effects on Young People; Valuing Young People and Their Contribution; Diversity and Difference; and finally a selection of popular workshops and a presenters’ showcase.

They offer an opportunity for young people and professionals to increase their knowledge and confidence in diverse areas from the assessment, treatment and experience of adolescent depression to how the Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa is being implemented for local young people.

For more information: Contact, Maria Pasene (Youth Mental Health Promoter: CPH) Ph: 379 9480 Or Jessi Abrams Youth representative 021 2929558

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