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Online Crisis Intervention: a proactive approach to young people in crisis

Reaching out for help in a moment of crisis can be hard. Assuming young people will do this when they need help is not a good fit for how our brains work at that age. At the same time, there’s a constant stream of young people expressing this crisis online. Instead, the crew over at Live For Tomorrow, along with a team of more than 30 volunteers, takes the help to those young people. We respond in real-time and on their terms, chatting through social media platforms. We call this Online Crisis Intervention.

What’s been happening?

SendHelp

Online community should be just that – community. In May we launched a parallel service to help our community look out for each other, SendHelp.io. If you’ve seen a post online that makes you worried for someone, submit the link through the site and one of our OCI team will reach out to them when we’re next on shift.

Volunteers

We’ve been recruiting a pretty diverse team over the last 18 months, and between them they’re now doing more than 50 hours of online intervention work each week. They come from a wide range of work and study backgrounds, but all give up a few hours each week to chat to some awesome young people.

Technology

We’ve started building! Our intervention process has been fairly basic and manual so far, so we figured we should build our own intervention platform to be able to reach more young people, more easily. Now we are, and progress is fast!

Snack Drawer

We take sustenance seriously for our volunteer team, and have now implemented a snack drawer policy to make sure our bodies are nourished and our energy levels are maintained. We cover all the major food groups, including carbohydrates, vegetables, and dairy.

Funder

We couldn’t do it all without our awesome funder for this project, the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation. They like us a lot, and share our passion to make meaningful change for young people across Aotearoa.


Read more from Zeal:

“I’m humbled at the opportunity to be part of a legacy of building authentic, meaningful connections with young people through creativity.”


“I’ve shared so many laughs and big smiles with my young people, and have shed tears over them too. And that’s ok. I think that’s where the change happens, when we can just love on a person until they feel at home with us and the space.”

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