$100k for mental health social media fund

By Kate Shuttleworth

Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett this afternoon launched the social media innovation fund. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett this afternoon launched the social media innovation fund. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The Government has allocated $100,000 to make use of social media to improve youth mental health.

Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett this afternoon launched the social media innovation fund at Britomart in Auckland.

The fund is part of a wider $2 million package.

Last year Prime Minister John Key unveiled a $62 million package to improve the mental health of youth.

The package involves allocating funds to schools, developing online tools, to families and communities and in the health system.

Nurses and trained youth workers have been added to lower-decile schools to support youth with mental health issues.

The Positive Behaviour School Wide programme was also rolled out in all secondary schools.

Ms Bennett said Phobic Trust had created a smart phone app called a mood diary allowing young people to input and monitor their mood and anxiety levels daily.

Ms Bennett said it enabled them to get instant round-the-clock support if and when they needed it.

The app will link with Facebook and YouTube and will automatically alert the user if what they're entering into their journal indicates they need to seek help.

Youthline's interactive text counselling services, first launched in 2004 would also be expanded and the Government was also supporting Zeal, an organisation tacking binge drinking.

"We're going to support Zeal to build on the success of its Don't Drown Your Dream documentary with a 30-day dream challenge delivered across a range of social media sites."

- APNZ

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