11 Jul 2014

Online help for troubled teens

10:54 am on 11 July 2014

An online project has been launched to tackle teenagers' problems before they turn into serious mental health issues.

Common Ground is a one-stop shop of resources and information for dealing with youth mental health. It includes a website, a free phone line, social media channels, and links to other services and resources.

The project brings together organisations such as the Mental Health Foundation and Youthline to offer help for parents and teenagers dealing with their own and their friends' issues, such as anxiety, grief, and stress.

Moira Clunie of the Mental Health Foundation said Common Ground helps address those issues before they turn into big problems.

Ms Clunie said while it was known that one in five New Zealanders are affected by mental health issues in any given year, everyone was affected by distress, or stress and trauma at some point in their life.

A teenager who helped with the content, Grace King, said it would be a useful tool for teenagers.

"When you don't know what to do you want to be able to find out how you can help your friends. You never want to see anyone suffer through something when you can do something about it."

Common Ground will get government funding of $1m over the next four years.