Youth Mental Health

We need your help to support youth mental wellbeing in our region

Youth mental health challenges, including self-harm and suicidal behaviour are at an all-time high, having doubled in New Zealand in the past decade. With your support we can do something to help.

Early intervention and promotion of positive mental health in schools is key to improving understanding of, and attitudes toward, mental health and well-being; as well as building resilience.

Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents (STEPS-A) is an evidence-based social emotional learning curriculum designed for intermediate school students. The programme has shown to be effective in decreasing life threatening behaviours in adolescents through developing skills in mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.

The programme is a curriculum of 30 lessons designed to be delivered by teachers, however schools have identified the need for support in implementation, particularly for youth who are already struggling.

Our solution is for clinicians from the hospital’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service to co-facilitate with teachers for the first year. The apprenticeship approach allows teachers to watch and learn from experienced mental health clinicians, and gain the confidence to run the programme independently with background support from the service in subsequent years.

Benefits of implementing this approach include preventing the need for hospital level services and reaching a wider group of students, who may not come to the attention of, or have access to a secondary mental health service. Early intervention at a community level is critical to ensuring young people are equipped with the skills and knowledge to improve their mental well-being.

Well Foundation is raising funds to support the roll out of the STEPS-A programme to a larger number of Auckland intermediate schools over a two-year.

Our impact is only made possible through the following incredibly generous organisations: