Youth survey shows life for young NZers improving

Thursday, 1 August, 2013 - 17:15

Youth Affairs Minister Nikki Kaye has today released the latest survey about the health and wellbeing of New Zealand secondary school students.

"It is encouraging that on a number of critical measures life has improved considerably for young people compared to 10 years ago," Ms Kaye says.

"This survey - the latest in a five-yearly survey cycle of New Zealand secondary school students - shows clear evidence of a marked reduction in tobacco, alcohol and drug use by young people over this time period.

"It shows schools are improving support systems for students to keep them engaged in education and most students report caring and supportive families.

"The reductions in substance use, combined with good relationships, will improve young people’s current physical and mental health profoundly and the longevity of their generation, the survey finds.

"However, the survey shows some areas we need to focus on. We have some long-standing issues for young people in terms of mental health. The Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health project is focused on addressing this.

"There are also some issues that appear to relate to challenging economic times globally.

"This survey data will be important to help address some of these issues. Community groups, Government and other policy makers will be able to use this data to shape future policy to continue to improve the lives of young people," Ms Kaye says.

Ms Kaye says the survey, conducted by the Adolescent Health Research Group (AHRG), presents robust data with participation by 8500 students. The survey was funded by the Ministries of Youth Development, Social Development, Health, Education and Justice, the Department of Labour, the Families Commission and the Health Promotion Agency.

The full survey can be found here.

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