Mental Health programme uses YouTube to reach young people

Mindful Minute programme creator Natalie Lanfear.

Mindful Minute programme creator Natalie Lanfear.

Natalie Lanfear is creating a new programme to help young people address their mental health issues. 

She was one of 10 young people selected to take part in an initiative created by the Mental Health Foundation called Point of Difference (POD).

The Foundation asked for candidates aged between 17 and 24, from around New Zealand, to submit creative projects such as film, dance or an art installation to bring awareness to mental health. 

It was aimed at young people who had experienced mental health issues and were comfortable with talking about it, Lanfear, 23, said. 

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She went through anxiety and depression after she suffered a sporting injury. 

"From my experience it was hard to get help. I had to go around several practitioners before I could find the right help. What may work for one may not work for another."

Lanfear's POD project was a web series that she ran on her YouTube channel, she said.

"It was a project that ran over a month. I set myself a challenge of asking myself a mindful question each day to keep track of my mental health."

The Mindful Minute Programme got between 50 and 100 views a day, for the 31 days it ran, she said.

"It's for someone maybe going through mental health issues themselves or someone who wants to keep track of their mental health for a given period of time."

POD runs from June to December and by the end of the project Lanfear wanted to have a book created that goes along with her videos, she said.

"It will have 31 questions and space for people to answer questions and a tie in element of why the questions are important. I'm trying to use this awareness project as a preventive measure before people get unwell or get to that point of mental distress. It's all about mental wellness."

Lanfear was now thinking of ways to expand the project, she said. 

"I want to help young people find a way of supporting themselves or to provide them an olive branch of hope that there are other people out there experiencing this themselves."

She is now trying to let people know what her project is about, is finishing the POD programme and trying to find people in Taranaki who may want to offer assistance, through knowledge about mental health, mentoring in a business sense or even funding for the project, she said. 

Lanfear came runner up in the Taranaki regional final of the AMP Scholarship with her proposal for her Mindful Minute Programme.



Lifeline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 354

Depression Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 111 757

Healthline (open 24/7) - 0800 611 116

Samaritans (open 24/7) - 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

Youthline (open 24/7) - 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or

0800 WHATSUP children's helpline - phone 0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at

Kidsline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.

Your local Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)

Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.


 - Stuff

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