Love better

‘Love better’: How they help young people get over breakups in New Zealand

“Breakups suck. But you can channel it into something good.” This is how the promotional video for the “Love better” campaign begins, with which the New Zealand government wants to help young people in the country overcome the breakup of their partner. The initiative is part of a national plan to prevent minors from self-harming or engaging in risky behaviors and to prevent family and sexual violence. 

The campaign has been spread across social networks and the media. It targets young people between the ages of 12 and 24 and offers them emotional and psychological support by telephone, instant messaging, or email through the Youthline contact line if they are going through a breakup. 

Heartbreak occupies the first phase of the campaign, which starts from the basis that feeling hurt is normal but wants to break the stigma that still exists for asking for psychological help.

“I’m deleting it from the networks. I’m moving on”

The promotional video encourages young people to be masters of their feelings. Apart from the messages, there are real testimonies of people going through this painful moment. 

“I’m doing it. I’m deleting my ex from all the networks. I’m moving forward,” reports one girl. ” I need to sleep, I need to forget about her, get over it,” explains a boy, who ended up blocking his former girlfriend on the networks.

The campaign is presented as a way to build community and prevent the pain from becoming huge. 

“We know that love breaks hurt. We want to help young people manage the pain and let them know that there are other ways to do it, without them hurting themselves or hurting other people,” the minister defended to Social Development and Employment, Priyanca Radhakrishnan.

The aim is to provide young people with strategies to cope with pain, which will serve them for life. 

The minister has defended that this campaign is pioneering in the world and that the figures force us to intervene in the problem: 

“This approach has never been tried by any government in the world. New Zealand has shameful statistics for family and sexual violence, and we need innovative approaches to break the cycle.” 

Read also: Six Mossos sentenced for torturing two young people who fled from control: “We could kill you and no one would find out”

Combat self-harm, risky sex, or harassment

A survey of 1,200 young people concluded that 68% experienced severe pain after cutting and this feeling triggered toxic or harmful behaviors, such as self-harm, depressive states, risky sexual behavior, violence, and coercion, including blackmail, jealousy, revenge, or harassment. 

Several studies have pointed out that this kind of behavior occurs, mainly, through mobile phones and networks. The poll found that young people wanted help to avoid doing something they might later regret. 

The campaign has funding of 6.4 million New Zealand dollars (about 3.7 million euros) and targets more than 850,000 young people, which is 17% of the population of New Zealand.

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