Skylight has launched an innovative new single edition youth support magazine, ‘The Journey Through’, which honestly and frankly tackles the very difficult issues teens and young people face. It’s been written specifically for young people in New Zealand, and features many stories, words and photos, kiwi teens have contributed.
Life can be really tough. The issues teenagers face are diverse and include changing schools, moving to a new city or country, losing your friends, bullying, parents breaking up, living in a blended family or absent parents, peer pressure, terminal illness or death of someone close to them, mental health issue, disability and too often trauma, abuse or violence.
Skylight, a unique support organisation helping young people and their families/whnau deal with change, loss, trauma and grief, recognises that young people, in particular, can be significantly affected by such issues.
Skylight Acting Chief Executive and author of ‘The Journey Through’, Tricia Hendry says, “It is crucial that young people get support they can relate to, to help them get through the really rough times.
“Research shows that providing support now reduces problems later on in life including relationship difficulties, mental health issues such as depression, drug and alcohol abuse or other ‘at risk’ behaviour.”
‘The Journey Through’, a colourful, image-rich resource, helps readers understand, process and manage their tough experiences. It features quotes, writing and true stories from young people in New Zealand.
True stories like Jade’s. At age 17 she was pregnant, stunned and terrified. On top of her family’s expectations and then disappointment, she was really worried about the enormous responsibility of looking after another human life – her own child. It all made her feel like the whole situation was too hard to bear.
Jade says “I’ve learned that when things seem to be too hard, we need to take it step by step and often there will be breathers in between.”
Or how about Meg – who’s father died when she was 10. She remembers that period of grieving as darkness. She felt lost and confused. “I didn’t really understand what was happening. No one talked about death. One day we had a father and the next day we didn’t.”
With plentiful explanations of what grief is, how they might react and express themselves, suggestions for managing through tough times and how to get help, this resource encourages readers to choose what ideas suit them best. It has strong personal safety messages that will give young people practical support and reassurance.
“Skylight wants to give our young people hope and a beacon of light to get through the often dark times of grief,” says Hendry.
Along with the print version, Skylight has produced a series of eight online video clips of Kiwi young people talking about how they have dealt with their tough times.
“For example, taking it “One day at a time” is an important message for our young people here in New Zealand,” says Hendry.
“The series represent truly Kiwi voices, and young people who are looking for support online will be able to access the video clips on Skylight’s website, You Tube, Facebook and other online sites.”
‘The Journey Through’ is available to order online at www.skylight.org.nz or by contacting Skylight on 0800 299 100 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.