School Based Nurse Chris Drown uses the HEADSS method to help rangatahi open up and share.
December 18, 2020

A HEADSS up on Rangatahi Mental Health

RANGATAHI Mental Health. It’s a kaupapa (topic) that School Based Nurse Chris Drown is always keeping his eye out for in our rangatahi, but even more pertinent given the recent experience of local flooding and the displacement of a number of whānau in our community having to dump their belongings or relocate from their homes.

Chris points out, “fear of the unknown and anxiety are very normal in these situations. You can’t control what’s happening around you. It can lead to real uneasiness for everyone, including rangatahi.”

These feelings often go unspoken amongst our rangatahi but Chris has a simple but effective method he uses to build trust and identify how they are feeling within themselves. ~ HEADSS (with a couple of additional S’s) stands for Home,Education and Employment, (Eating and exercise), Activities and peers, Drugs, Sexuality, Suicide and depression, Safety, Spirituality. The idea is that you ask rangatahi questions pertaining to each of these areas of their life. Each topic or area gives you the opportunity to dig a little deeper into their experience and current situation providing insight and understanding.

“There are lots of questions that fit under each of these headings and it doesn’t take long to get a sense of how someone is feeling. Or which areas you might want to spend a bit more time delving into. It’s also a proven method of rapport building,” says Chris.

Unfortunately, in rangatahi especially, studies show that they have to be asked directly to share particular concerns and feelings. “If you don’t ask, they won’t tell, explains Chris, however, the HEADSS method is not perceived by young people as nosey, but as really caring.”

If you are struggling with your Mental Health text or phone 1737 for FREE support from a trained counsellor.

If you want to know more about Rangatahi Mental Health and the services available then visithttps:// www.healthnavigator.org.nz/ healthy-living/m/mental-health services-for-young-people/ and if you are concerned about someone make an appointment with your GP.

Share this

Know somebody that would be interested in reading this article? Share it using the buttons below...

Keep in touch

Sign up now