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The Lowdown is an interactive support and information website for young people experiencing depression. Learn more about the website, and get information on when it is appropriate to use it, find out what young people thought of it, and read professional advice and young people’s tips for using it in practice.

This tool will assist with:

  • young people seeking general information on depression
  • connecting young people with others experiencing depression
  • sharing content presented in a fun, youthful way through multimedia.
The Lowdown

About The Lowdown NZ

The Lowdown NZ is an interactive website developed to provide support and information to young people suffering from depression. It is also a resource for others concerned about someone who may have the condition. The New Zealand based, government funded website allows users to select a celebrity “guide” to walk them through the features including stories, a chat room/forum, fact sheets and other multimedia content. In an easy to understand and engaging manner, the site functions as a basic introduction to depression.

Where to access this tool

The Lowdown NZ website

When to use The Lowdown NZ

The website should be introduced to a young person who is seeking further information on depression as homework after an initial assessment. It can also be beneficial if they are finding therapy difficult or are reluctant to ask for help.

What young people thought of The Lowdown NZ

Likes

  • Easy to navigate and colourful.
  • Interactive and current – you can communicate with others in a similar situation, listen to music and watch videos.
  • Concise content presented in a hip, youthful way.
  • Caters to a broad range of ages (14 to early twenties).

Dislikes

  • While the site offers general information about depression, helplines listed are for New Zealand.
  • Need to focus on other mental health difficulties, not just depression.
  • Should offer younger, diverse navigators.

Professionals’ advice on using The Lowdown NZ in practice

Young people in Australia might find it difficult relating to a site featuring New Zealand celebrities and news.

If a client shows interest in the SMS option, guide them to eheadspace (SMS texting is only available in NZ).

Highlight to clients that The Lowdown NZ is an information site and should not be seen as crisis support.

Advice from young people

The Lowdown NZ is a useful tool for sufferers of depression and others who want general information about the condition.

Although elements might not be relevant to some young people in Australia, they can still connect with others in a similar situation.

The concepts are clear, without the need of a professional to offer further explanation.

Acknowledgements

This tool was reviewed by Sarah and Brittany, young people from ReachOut.com. Professional advice was provided by Liesje Donkin (Psychologist).

Using this tool

  • Suggest it to younger people experiencing depression.
  • Browse it in a session with a young person.
  • Read more about depression.