Two organisations have come together to help support the mental health of tamariki, something a local trust has seen an increase in demand for.
Life Education Charitable Trust Rotorua is also encouraging the community to help support its work at a fundraiser.
Life Education Trust NZ and Anxiety NZ have joined forces to support young people's mental health and wellbeing.
In launching new initiative Healthy Minds, they aim to empower young people to improve their hauora (wellbeing) and meet challenges with resilience.
Life Education Trust Rotorua chairwoman Jules McLaughlin says the initiative is a great idea because over the years the trust has had more and more requests to teach in the areas of mental health and resilience in our area, and it has been supporting schools with this teaching for a long time now.
"It's really important that this is something that we bring to the forefront, as mental health is hugely important to our overall health and wellbeing.
"We have certainly heard that this [concerns over the mental and emotional wellbeing of children] is an issue to local schools in Rotorua, and in our feedback from local schools last year, 83 per cent of school leaders reported that anxiety was either 'an issue' or 'very much an issue' for their students."
Jules says conditions such as anxiety could be such an issue for children due to all the challenges and changes they face while growing up, particularly at the moment with all the uncertainties and worries about the future, but also around things like social pressures and increased social media.
"It's really important that children learn strategies to help manage their feelings and also learn to grow their resilience.
"If you would like to support the work Life Education Trust Rotorua does, please come along to our Garden Art Festival."
The festival sale, February 27-28, will have a range of artworks at a range of prices from local artists.
There are also a limited number of tickets to the festival launch at 5.30pm next Friday, at a cost of $20. Contact Mike Dingwall on (027) 685 1980 for more information.
More information on the event is available on the trust's Facebook page or Eventfinda.
Chief executive of Life Education Trust NZ, John O'Connell, says, "Research identifies many New Zealand children are struggling with anxiety and challenges to their mental health, and the present uncertainty is adding to the existing challenges.
"School leaders are reporting that children need support in developing their resilience, preparing them to navigate life's challenges."
In recent years, Life Education has seen a steady increase in demand from schools to support children's mental and emotional wellbeing.
Its health educators work across primary and intermediate schools providing their Healthy Harold programme to support health curriculum teaching.
Healthy Minds teaching resources have been reviewed by Anxiety NZ's clinical team of experts, to ensure teaching models and resources fit with best practice in the field.
Chief executive officer of Anxiety NZ, Sarah Woollard says, "It's fantastic to work with Life Education on Healthy Minds, which will impact thousands of children across the country.
"Through the lockdown period last year Anxiety NZ saw an increase of 40 per cent to its call centre.
"Children today are seeing global events unfold as they happen with updated streams to phones and other devices, without the ability to process these adult concepts."
She says, "Resilience is at the heart of wellbeing. Resilient kids can bounce back from challenges and are more curious, brave and adaptable.
"Every person can grow their resilience. Tamariki have unique abilities and identities, and with the right support, they can thrive. Empowering kids with support and connection is essential to their hauora.
"Our minds can affect how we think, feel and act - and how healthy our bodies are."
Factors like increased loneliness, discrimination, harmful environments, social pressures, increased social media, and worries about Covid-19 and the future are just a few of the struggles that impact the mental health of tamariki.
• What: Garden Art Festival Sale for Life Education Charitable Trust Rotorua
• When: Saturday, February 27 - Sunday, February 28, 10am to 4pm
• Where: 20 Tupara Crescent, Kawaha Point
• Tickets: Available at the gate on the day or contact Mike (027) 685 1980