In a significant development, the New Zealand government has pledged $6 million to New Zealand’s leading youth mental health charity I Am Hope. This investment is a major step in reinforcing the coalition government’s commitment to improving mental health services for young New Zealanders.
I Am Hope and Gumboot Friday founder Mike King, has expressed deep gratitude for this support and emphasises that the entire amount will be devoted to Gumboot Friday counsellors.
“This funding is not just a contribution- it’s a life-saver. We’ve heard hundreds of stories from families across New Zealand about Gumboot Friday being a lifeline for their kids. This is a huge step towards offering timely mental health support to kids who need it most,” says Mike King.
I Am Hope will continue to ensure that all operational expenses for Gumboot Friday are covered, guaranteeing that every dollar goes directly to improving mental health services for young New Zealanders.
The impact of Gumboot Friday is proven and far reaching. A recent social impact report undertaken by ImpactLab GoodMeasure highlighted Gumboot Friday’s remarkable achievements: a 570% return on investment and a 98% engagement rate, one of the highest globally.
These figures showcase the programme’s effectiveness and its life-changing influence on New Zealand’s youth mental health landscape.
“This funding strengthens a system that’s already easing the burden on our overstretched public services. With our innovative state-of-the-art live reporting and transparency, we ensure every dollar goes directly where it is needed, to supporting our kids,” says I Am Hope chief executive Troy Elliott.
Both men extended their heartfelt gratitude to New Zealanders and corporate partners for their continued support, “without whom none of this would have been possible” says King.