19 Dec 2013

Youthline says engagement key to reduce Maori depression

7:31 pm on 19 December 2013

Support service, Youthline, says keeping young Maori engaged in education, training and culture is the key to reducing their high rates of depression.

An Auckland University study of 1700 Maori secondary school students found 14% had significant depressive symptoms, and nearly 7% had attempted suicide.

The figures for the 2007 and 2001 studies are much the same.

Youthline national spokesperson Stephen Bell says the static nature of the figures show society is struggling to reach out to and engage with Maori youth.

He says alternative pathways need to be acknowledged for Maori, and seen as as good as or better than the status quo.

Mr Bell says if young people can engage in education, sport, training and culture then their trajectory is so much better.