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Now Recruiting: Young people to interview regarding mental health crisis and social media

Here in New Zealand, we have a whopping high youth suicide rate. That straight up sucks. At Zeal, we believe that every young person experiencing crisis should receive support when and where they need it. For the past year, in a world first, we have been identifying and offering immediate interpersonal support to young people on social media.

We’re doing our bit and now we need your help. Our next step is some research into how we can better support young people online. We are seeking young people aged 16-24 in the Auckland and Hamilton regions who have posted about a time of crisis on social media within the last six months, and are willing to talk with us about it.

We’re wanting to find out how young people use social media when they have been in crisis, what kind of responses they have had when they have reached out on social media, and how they would like to be responded to at these times. Examples of the type of post we’re looking at are below.

1. Are you a young person keen to be interviewed?

We’d love to chat in person with you if you have used social media during a time of crisis, or posted something like what you see in the examples above. You’ll be helping to shape how support is provided to other young people in New Zealand and around the world. If you’re keen, you’ll need to:

  • Be aged 16-24 years old
  • Live close to Auckland or Hamilton
  • Be willing to talk to us for about an hour, confidentially, about your post and online experience during crisis

The research is confidential and nobody will know from the stuff that gets written up who the young people are who took part. You’ll need to be doing ok at the moment – not in a time of crisis right now. Some of the questions we ask could bring up things that are upsetting.


Alternatively, text us on 0274355070 with your name and contact details and we’ll be in touch. Getting in touch means you can find out more about the research, and then decide if you want to take part. Giving your contact details does not mean you have to be interviewed. You can change your mind, and no one will worry.

2. Do you know a young person who fits this criteria?

  1. Have a read of this document to find out more about this research, then share it with the young person.
  2. Check in with the young person – we need to make sure they are not in crisis at the moment. We suggest you actively check this by asking “How are you feeling right now? Are you up to answering questions about the way you talk about mental health crisis online, which could be upsetting for you?”
  3. Have them fill in this form to let us know.
  4. Alternatively they can text 0274355070 with their name and contact details to find out more. Please do not pass on contact details for young people who might be interested without their consent.

Andrew or a member of the interview team will then make contact with the young person, and at that point, full informed consent will be obtained before things progress to interview. Whether they agree to be interviewed or not is the choice of the young person. Please don’t check in with them to see if they agreed or not.

Who’s behind this research?



We are Zeal. We are a family of passionate, creative misfits who believe that every young kiwi is creative and who dedicate our lives to helping them discover, express and develop their unique creativity. We do this through a combination of programmes and youth development projects based out of our youth facilities in Auckland, Hamilton, Hawke’s Bay, Kapiti, and Wellington, and through online engagement through our mental health project, Live For Tomorrow.

Live For Tomorrow reaches young people with messages of hope and positive change, right where they spend most of their time: online and in school. For the last year, our Online Crisis Intervention service has been proactively reaching out to young people posting about times of distress and crisis through social media, offering immediate interpersonal support and care with a team of volunteers.

The Collaborative Trust for Research and Training in Youth Health and Development (The Collaborative Trust)

We are committed to assisting the healthy development of young people, through:

  • training the adults who work with young people;
  • undertaking and disseminating research and evaluation so that training and services can be based on evidence;
  • informing and influencing policy and practice.