Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Budget 2012: Funding for youth 'One Stop Shops'

Social Development minister Paula Bennett. Photo / NZ Herald
Social Development minister Paula Bennett. Photo / NZ Herald

Youth workers in schools and centres such as 'One Stop Shops' for youth will get about $4.3 million in funding a year under the Budget to provide mental health services to youth - including a new $2 million 'social media' fund to use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to reach youth with mental health issues.

Social Development minister Paula Bennett said youth needed specific support to address their needs so a total of $18.3 million would be allocated to youth mental health.

A new $1 million fund would be set up for providers to get information on youth mental health issues to parents and friends who were concerned about a young person and wanted to know what to do.

"Parents, families and friends are usually the first to identify mental health issues in a young person they are close to. It is vital they know what to do and how to support them."

The funding also included $600,000 next year to boost the services offered by the 12 Youth One Stop Shops nationwide, which provided health and social services to youth. A further $6 million was allocated for mental health workers in secondary schools over four years and $6 million for the start of the use of better data sharing between Government departments which was aimed at identifying and supporting vulnerable children.

Ms Bennett said the Government's White Paper on vulnerable children would be released later this year and the bulk of the changes would be funded in next year's Budget. However, the $6 million now would help start work on processes of information sharing.

- NZ Herald

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