Radio NZ: ‘I’m tired of having teenagers telling me their suicide plans’

by John Gerritsen, RNZ News, 9 February 2017

Mr Gerritsen reports that the Education and Science Select Committee has been told that “disabled schoolchildren are suicidal and stressed because they are not getting enough help for their disabilities.”

Speech language therapist Shannon Henig told the Committee:

“I’m tired of having teenagers telling me their suicide plans and I’m tired of 8-year-olds telling me they’ve been kicked out of another school,” she said.

“I just see so much emotional stress and anxiety, and kids throwing up afraid to go to school, and parents dropping out of the workforce and not paying taxes for these teenagers who are just at home.”

Dr Henig said the online schools proposed by the bill were not the answer for children who were being let down by the current system.

“They need to be taught not with online communities of learning, but with someone who believes in them and can hold them together while they go through that journey.”

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Where to get help

• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)

• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)

• Youth services: (06) 3555 906 (Palmerston North and Levin)

• Youthline: 0800 376 633

• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)

• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)

• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)

• Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (available 24/7)

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