May 6, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

The Lowdown – seeking Maori rangatahi to share their journey through depression/anxiety

2 min read


The Health Promotion Agency is currently redeveloping the website for The Lowdown (, a website which provides young people with information about depression and other mental health issues. In order to ensure that the website meets the needs of our rangatahi, we are looking for young Maori aged 16-22 years old who have been through a journey with depression and/or anxiety to share their stories through digital videos (e.g. YouTube) on The Lowdown to help other young people going through similar experiences.

What is the project?

The Lowdown is the youth-specific component of the National Depression Initiative (NDI). The NDI was developed to reduce the impact of depression on the lives of New Zealanders, and the campaign first launched in 2006 with TV ads and a website, Sir John Kirwan (JK) is the ambassador of the programme and is a strong public advocate. In 2008, The Lowdown was created to appeal to youth audiences. It includes a series of videos of young people who share the stories of their depression journeys (

The current Lowdown is being refreshed, and as part of this project, anxiety has been added to the scope of mental health issues affecting young New Zealanders. It is being designed for those who are concerned/looking for more information about mental health, specifically about depression and anxiety, for themselves or for a friend. The audience is mainly those in the secondary school age-range, as well as transitioning in and out of secondary school. The target population within this age range is Maori, Pacific, and LGBTTI people.

Support for story sharers

We understand the significance of what we are asking of the young people who agree to share their stories. Everyone involved in the project will be supported by a registered psychologist. One of the first steps is for our psychologist to speak to willing young people to ensure they are ready to publically talk about their journey. She also provides support onsite during the shooting of the videos, and is available post-production should the need arise. It is also important to mention that anyone who agrees to be filmed can drop out at any time if they feel they no longer wish to be involved.

If you have any names of rangatahi who might be suitable for the project, or if you have any questions, please let get in touch withBen Tafau, Project Manager of the Health Promotion Agency.

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