As part of growing
up, children aged between 9 and 13 inevitably encounter a variety
of challenges or difficulties. Sometimes, however, a problem
can appear so overwhelming that it's hard to see a way through
the situation, or know who to turn to for help. At Kidsline®
we recognise that children may experience difficulty talking
to adults about their problems, so we offer a unique telephone
support service where callers speak to a 'buddy'.
Buddies are specially
trained 6th and 7th formers who 'speak the same language' and
respond like a 'big brother or sister' in a mentoring capacity.
Talking to a Kidsline
buddy reinforces the fact that difficulties and pains do not
need to be faced in isolation. Kidsline® aims to reduce
the level of discomfort and pain that children experience by
listening, empathising, resourcing, encouraging, and supporting
the callers in the hope that he or she will be sufficiently
empowered to make healthy changes from their undesirable situation.
At present we have
over 100 Kidsline® buddies based at two centres in Auckland
and Christchurch. The training received by buddies includes
self-awareness, information on social and mental health issues,
basic psychological theories and principles, appropriate therapeutic
techniques and adaptive life skills. With training in these
areas, buddies increase their emotional and social competence
and grow in their abilities to address their own issues and
make positive changes in themselves. Kidsline® buddies become
resources for their families, friends, schools and communities.
Kidsline is part
of the Lifeline family of services. It is a model that has evolved
through years of community involvement. Kidsline is a well respected
service that is promoted by the New Zealand Police Education
officers in schools throughout New Zealand.
A large number of
primary and intermediate schools throughout New Zealand help
increase the awareness of Kidsline® to their pupils by participating
in our annual poster competition. This is held in Term 2. Entering
the competition stimulates discussion among children of the
issues that many of them face. To assist with related class
activities, Kidsline® has a number of resources available
to schools, including, videos, posters, leaflets and bookmarks.
We hope these materials inform and encourage children to seek
help when they need it because - 'it helps to talk'.
Please let the children
in your class know that Kidsline® is available to them each
school day from 4-6pm on 0800 KIDSLINE. (With the option to
speak to an adult counsellor outside these hours - that's a
24 hour service for our New Zealand kids).
The winning poster
from last year is included with this copy of Good Teacher. Please
put this on your wall. If you require extra copies they are
available by contacting Kidsline main office in Auckland or
your local Paper Plus store.
Competition: To help us with the distribution of poster entry
forms which are couriered to all schools, please fax us with
the name of your school, number of pupils in years 5 - 8 (9
- 12 year olds) and a coordinator’s name, fax 09 524 3092.
Neil Burton, Kidsline® Manager
Phone: 09 524 3080,
Fax: 09 524 3092,