A SILENT TRAGEDY

There is a silent tragedy that is unfolding today in our homes, and concerns our most precious jewels: our children. Our children are in a devastating emotional state! In the last 15 years, researchers have given us increasingly alarming statistics on a sharp and steady increase in childhood mental illness that is now reaching epidemic proportions:

Statistics do not lie:

  • 1 in 5 children have mental health problems
  • A 43% increase in ADHD has been noted
  • A 37% increase in adolescent depression has been noted
  • There has been a 200% increase in the suicide rate in children aged 10 to 14

What is happening and what are we doing wrong?

Today’s children are being over-stimulated and over-gifted with material objects, but they are deprived of the fundamentals of a healthy childhood, such as:

  • Emotionally available parents
  • Clearly defined limits
  • Responsibilities
  • Balanced nutrition and adequate sleep
  • Movement in general but especially outdoors
  • Creative play, social interaction, unstructured game opportunities and boredom spaces

Instead, in recent years, children have been filled with:

  • Digitally distracted parents
  • Indulgent and permissive parents who let children “rule the world” and whoever sets the rules
  • A sense of right, of deserving everything without earning it or being responsible for obtaining it
a silent tragedy
  • Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Endless stimulation, technological nannies, instant gratification and absence of boring moments

What to do?

If we want our children to be happy and healthy individuals, we have to wake up and get back to basics. It is still possible! Many families see immediate improvements after weeks of implementing the following recommendations:

  • Set limits and remember that you are the captain of the ship. Your children will feel more confident knowing that you have control of the helm.
  • Offer children a balanced lifestyle full of what children NEED, not just what they WANT. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to your children if what they want is not what they need.
  • Provide nutritious food and limit junk food.
  • Spend at least one hour a day outdoors doing activities such as: cycling, walking, fishing, bird / insect watching
  • Enjoy a daily family dinner without smartphones or distracting technology.
  • Play board games as a family or if children are very small for board games, get carried away by their interests and allow them to rule in the game.
  • Involve your children in some homework or household chores according to their age (folding clothes, ordering toys, hanging clothes, unpacking food, setting the table, feeding the dog etc.)
  • Implement a consistent sleep routine to ensure your child gets enough sleep. The schedules will be even more important for school-age children.
  • Teach responsibility and independence. Do not overprotect them against all frustration or mistakes. Misunderstanding will help them build resilience and learn to overcome life’s challenges.
  • Do not carry your children’s backpack, do not carry their backpacks, do not carry the homework they forgot, do not peel bananas or peel oranges if they can do it on their own (4-5 years). Instead of giving them the fish, teach them to fish.
  • Teach them to wait and delay gratification.
  • Provide opportunities for “boredom”, since boredom is the moment when creativity awakens. Do not feel responsible for always keeping children entertained.
  • Do not use technology as a cure for boredom, nor offer it at the first second of inactivity.
  • Avoid using technology during meals, in cars, restaurants, shopping centers. Use these moments as opportunities to socialize by training the brains to know how to work when they are in mode: “boredom”
  • Help them create a “bottle of boredom” with activity ideas for when they are bored.
  • Be emotionally available to connect with children and teach them self-regulation and social skills.
  • Turn off the phones at night when children have to go to bed to avoid digital distraction.
  • Become a regulator or emotional trainer for your children. Teach them to recognize and manage their own frustrations and anger.
  • Teach them to greet, to take turns, to share without running out of anything, to say thank you and please, to acknowledge the error and apologize (do not force them), be a model of all those values ​​you instill.
  • Connect emotionally – smile, hug, kiss, tickle, read, dance, jump, play or crawl with them.

Article written by Dr. Luis Rojas Marcos Psychiatrist.

Emergency and help lines

APP – MyRivr
Description:

Everyone knows someone in need, whether it's a family member, a school or work friend, an associate or someone that you meet as you are going about daily life. Perhaps you do not know where to find help. MyRivr uses your location details to be able to provide you with the exact service providers close to you should you need support or need a nearby agency.

About MyRivr

As an ex-cop and gang member, Akerei (Rei) Maresala-Thomson has spent time witnessing the struggles and challenges of the New Zealand community

After 12 years serving with the NZ Police, Rei resigned from his role as Senior Sergeant in Charge of the Pacific, Ethnic and Asian portfolio for Counties Manukau in March, 2017.

He has made it his mission to continue confronting issues, and trying to improve Pacific wellbeing in NZ – but this time he is using technology.

Rei is now the Technical Advisor for free app MYRIVR, a self-funded and volunteer managed concept from the community which was developed and released in 2015 by Corefusion Limited as MASA (Multi-Agency Services Application) to assist in a successful trial with Counties Manukau Police.

MYRIVR is now NZ’s largest in-app directory of community services, enabling visibility and instant access to more than 20,000 helpers and over 7,000 health and social services around the country.

Website Address: Click Here
New Zealand Police Call in emergency 111
Description:

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

Website Address: Click Here
Kidsline
Description:

Kidsline is New Zealand's original telephone counselling service for all kids up to 14 years of age. Kidsline operates from 4pm to 6pm Monday through to Friday. When kids ring they will speak to a Kidsline buddy – a specially trained teenage telephone counsellor.

Website Address: Click Here
Youthline
Description:

Need support or want to talk? Contact Youthline.

Free Text 234

Email: talk@youthline.co.nz

Website Address: Click Here
Lifeline
Description:

Lifeline's telephone counselling service provides 24 hour a day, 7 day a week counselling and support. Calls are confidential and free and you will speak to a trained Lifeline counsellor.

Phone: 522 2999 (within Auckland)
Phone: 0800 543 354 (outside Auckland)

Website Address: Click Here
Keeping Your Kids Safe Online
Description:

Information for parents on creating a safe online learning and social environment for your children at home.

Website Address: Click Here
Netsafe Cyberbullying
Description:

Information and advice about cyberbullying for young people, parents and teachers.

Website Address: Click Here
Police Kia Kaha bullying programme for schools
Description:

Kia Kaha is a school-based programme that aims to help schools create environments where all members of the community feel safe, respected and valued, and where bullying cannot flourish.

Website Address: Click Here
Depression helpline
Description:

Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 (to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions).
This includes includes The Journal online help service.

Website Address: Click Here
Depression helpline
Description:

An online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland that helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed.

Website Address: Click Here
Sexuality or gender identity helpline
Description:

Provides confidential telephone support.
Helplines for children and young people

Website Address: Click Here
Sexuality or gender identity helpline
Description:

What's Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds).
Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, midday–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm.
Online chat is available 7pm–10pm daily.

Website Address: Click Here
Depression Helpline 24 hours a day
Description:

Depression Helpline (8am to midnight) Phone: 0800 111 757

Samaritans Phone: 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline Phone: 0508 828 865

Alcohol and Drug Helpline
Description:

Alcohol and Drug Helpline – 0800 787 797 or online chat

Website Address: Click Here
Family Violence Helpline
Description:

Are You OK – 0800 456 450 family violence helpline

Website Address: Click Here
Gambling Helpline
Description:

Gambling Helpline – 0800 654 655

Website Address: Click Here
Anxiety
Description:

Anxiety phone line – 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY)

Seniorline
Description:

A free information service for older people
Phone: 0800 725 463

Wellbeing Service
Description:

0508MUSICHELP – The Wellbeing Service is a 24/7 online, on the phone and in-person counselling service fully funded by the NZ Music Foundation and provided free of charge to those in the Kiwi music community who can't access the help they need due to hardship and other circumstances. Call 0508 MUSICHELP.

Domestic abuse helpline
Description:

Shine – 0508 744 633 confidential domestic abuse helpline

Smoking cessation help
Description:

Quit Line – 0800 778 778 smoking cessation help

Vagus Line
Description:

Vagus Line – 0800 56 76 666 (Mon, Wed, Fri 12 noon – 2pm).
Promote family harmony among Chinese, enhance parenting skills, decrease conflict among family members (couple, parent-child, in-laws) and stop family violence

Women’s Refuge Crisisline
Description:

Women's Refuge Crisisline – 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE) (for women living with violence, or in fear, in their relationship or family)

Shakti Crisis Line
Description:

Shakti Crisis Line – 0800 742 584 (for migrant or refugee women living with family violence)

Rape Crisis
Description:

Rape Crisis – 0800 883 300 (for support after rape or sexual assault)

Website Address: Click Here
Warmlines for consumers of mental health services – Canterbury and West Coast
Description:

Free peer support services for people experiencing mental illness or those supporting them
Canterbury and West Coast – 03 379 8415 / 0800 899 276 (1pm to midnight, seven nights)

Warmlines for consumers of mental health services – Wellington
Description:

Free peer support services for people experiencing mental illness or those supporting them
Wellington 0800 200 207 (7pm–1am, Tuesday to Sunday)

Warmlines for consumers of mental health services – Auckland Central
Description:

Free peer support services for people experiencing mental illness or those supporting them
Auckland Central 0508 927 654 or 0508 WARMLINE (8pm to midnight, seven nights)

Mental Health Crisis Helpline
Description:

Mental Health Crisis Helpline - 0800 800 717

Depression
Description:

Depression and anxiety affects us all differently.
Free 24/7 Helpline: 0800 111 757 Text 4202

Website Address: Click Here
Lifeline
Description:

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

Youthline
Description:

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat

Samaritans
Description:

Whatever you're going through, call us any time on 0800 726 666.

Website Address: Click Here
Suicide Crisis Helpline
Description:

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
What's Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds).
Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, midday–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available 7pm–10pm daily.

Kidsline
Description:

Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7.

Sexuality or gender identity helpline
Description:

thelowdown.co.nz – Phone: 0800 111 757 or email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626

Website Address: Click Here
Supporting Families in Mental Illness
Description:

Supporting Families in Mental Illness - 0800 732 825.