Social anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression.
Young Cantabrian immigrants are routinely not receiving recognition because of their birthplace.
Kids living in low socio-economic areas, coming from low-income families still dealing with the fallout from the 2011 earthquake.
These are difficulties which still haunt many young Cantabrians.
The fear of being judged by others leads our youth to bottle up their feelings, fearing that if they were to express it, they may be bullied or mistreated.
A lack of self-confidence and an inability to speak up restricts many young adults into hiding their feelings.
For a select bunch of teens, who I interviewed it was alarming how their lack of confidence impacted how they made friends and their fear of being seen as a social liability around their peers.
A recurring problem for these kids was their high level of social anxiety. Arising from problems within their household, hiding their inner demons and having to fight that battle on their own.
“It makes me feel that people will talk behind my back, makes me feel that I don’t look good enough”, Year 11 student Noah Sefo said, as he continues to overcome his battle with social anxiety.
Ivan Malpaya arrived in New Zealand from the Philippines and says hard for him to fit in because no one took him seriously. He was the foreign kid who people assumed couldn’t speak English.
He fell into the stereotype, leaving him isolated. He had no social support network at school and his grades suffered because of it. Who could he turn to?
Qyanna Curry, a student who fell into a trap of hanging around the wrong people. She felt she got too caught up in trying to fit in and make the right social decisions which eventually took a toll on her self-esteem.
These students all face a mental challenge to either fit in or stand out. And failing to do so, the toll it takes on them mentally leads them to doubt and isolate themselves.
Self-esteem and self-confidence are two recurring feelings that the students brought up. It impacted on how they lived their lives, the decisions they made and their everyday fear of being put down by those around them.
This is where the Graham Dingle Foundation strives to make a difference. The foundation runs programs for children aged between 5 and 18, and helps build life skills, confidence and teaches kids to find purpose and direction in their lives.
The foundation looks to tackle a bunch of alarming statistics that impact kiwi children: