From one bubble to another with lots of aroha - that's the idea behind a new counselling service for young people, Bubble2bubble.

While lockdown may be an introvert's paradise, for some young people it can be a nightmare.

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Separated from their friends and regular social interaction, lockdown can be particularly hard on those who suffer from anxiety, depression or low self-esteem and many young people sometimes feel isolated and stressed, particularly if they are also trying to get along with parents and siblings and juggle the demands of school work.


With this in mind, Taupō youth health service Anamata Cafe, which is available to all youth and young people in the Taupō district, has set up Bubble2Bubble, a free counselling service for young people aged between 12 and 24.

Any young person who wants someone to talk to or needs extra support is welcome to call 0800 BUBBLE between 11am and 4pm, Monday to Thursday. Outside of those times, you can leave a message or free call or text 1737 for support.

Anamata chief executive Annabel Prescott says the Bubble2Bubble service has been set up in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in an effort to ease distress and support the mental well-being of young people.

"We're quite excited about this wee initiative," Prescott says. "There's real additional pressure on our young people with concerns about whether exams are going to go ahead, what their education will look like and what the impact will be on their life.

"We're concerned that they'll have a heightened level of worry and concern at this time and we wanted to make sure that there's some options in place if they need someone to talk to."

The calls go through to Prescott who will have a quick chat with the young person and then connect them with a counsellor from around New Zealand who can offer help and support.

Anyone who is concerned about a young person in their life and thinks they may need help is also welcome to call 0800 BUBBLE.