Two young guys on a wharf.

Prime Minister's Youth Mental Health Project

The Government is investing more than $12.2 million over the next four years from the Social Development Vote in the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health package of initiatives.

Youth Workers in low decile secondary schools

Youth workers trained in mental health issues will be employed in selected low decile secondary schools.

This initiative builds on the current Multi-Agency Support Services in Secondary Schools (MASSiSS) service currently provided in 17 schools in South Auckland, Porirua and Flaxmere, with the additional requirement that the workforce has training in working with young people with mental health issues.

The youth workers will be contracted by existing community NGO providers through funding from Child, Youth and Family. The service will be available to students and their families and whānau, at no cost to them. The youth workers will work closely with existing school-based services and will link to community-based services.

By year three, an estimated 20,000 students in 27 schools will have access to a school-based youth worker or social worker. The youth workers and social workers will also be trained in using the Ministry of Education’s evidence-based Check and Connect programme, which targets young people who have, or are at risk of, disengaging from school.

This new initiative will cost more than $8.6 million over four years.

Social Media Innovations Fund

The Government is going to launch a public-private partnership (PPP) Social Media Innovations Fund. This PPP fund will help youth service providers keep their services technologically up to date and use social media to help young people access information on mental health.

Contributions from corporates and philanthropists will be sought, alongside Government funding of $2 million over four years, to fund good ideas which could bring breakthroughs in youth mental health services.

The Fund will foster innovation and the fast tracking of ideas, and help existing helplines and websites to improve their use of social media technology to engage with young people.

Information for Parents, Families and Friends

Parents, families and friends play a key role in identifying and encouraging young people with mental health issues to seek help and they need good access to authoritative information.

A contestable fund will be established that will allow non-government organisations to bid for funding to provide information to parents, families and friends. There will be an annual funding round for interested NGOs.

This initiative will cost $1 million over four years.

Social Support in Youth One Stop Shops (YOSS)

Youth One Stop Shops (YOSS) provide free, youth-friendly health and social services to young people. Community-based, they share a philosophy of positive youth development. YOSS have developed in response to young people’s preferences.

The Ministries of Social Development and Health will provide separate time limited support for existing effective YOSS. MSD’s contribution will be focussed on social support services and may include building youth worker capacity or capability.

This initiative will cost $600,000 and is available for the 2012/2013 financial year only.