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Wellington women to row Cook Strait for youth depression

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Between 12th and 16th April, four women will attempt to cross the Cook Strait in a rowing boat to raise awareness for youth mental health issues. If they are successful, they will be the first all-female crew to cross the Cook Strait in a rowing boat. The 100km row will start at Picton Rowing Club and finish at Wellington Rowing Club.

The rowers are:

Tina Manker Represented Germany at 2012 Olympics

Johannah Kearney Represented New Zealand at International level

Rachel Gamble-Flint Represented Great Britain at International level

Eleanor Morris Rows for Wellington Rowing Club

Julia Richter (spare) Represented Germany at 2012 Olympics

Through The Blue Charitable Trust is a group of 20 somethings who want to help bring the conversation about mental health issues into New Zealand classrooms by raising funds to develop educational programmes and resources for teens and teachers. We are dedicated to providing better prevention and early intervention for anxiety and depression in high school aged youth in New Zealand.

As rowers, we know that Wellington Harbour can be treacherous; Cook Strait is completely unpredictable - just like anxiety and depression. All of us either have experienced serious mental health issues ourselves or have close friends and relatives who are affected. Many of us work or have worked with New Zealand youth as coaches or teachers. We are keen to help provide better prevention and early intervention for anxiety and depression.

We have gathered information from local sources like the Youth Wellbeing Study at Victoria University and hope to extend the collaboration with experts in the area of youth mental health. Initially, we aim to work towards providing resources and education to teachers. We are also looking into funding research to find where out what kind of help and support is most effective in helping youth struggling with mental health issues. Rojolie Clinic are generously providing the help of Anne Elders, a Nurse and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist who will help set up the programme in coordination with teachers.

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