Botany and Ormiston Times
Howick and Pakuranga Times : Howick and Pakuranga Times Monday July 14 2014
www.times.co.nz Howick and Pakuranga Times, Monday, July 14, 2014 — 17 122841 Thanks to SeaLink this package includes a return ferry trip to Waiheke Island for a car and two people along with two nights’ accommodation. GREAT WINTER ESCAPE PACKAGE SeaLink and Times Newspapers are giving away to one lucky reader a Simply tell us why you or a loved one deserves this great giveaway. Send your entry to Times Newspapers Sealink Promotion PO Box 259-243 Botany, Auckland or email email@example.com. Entries close August 31, 2014. Waiheke Island Super Saver Ferry Fares * Available on selected sailings. See website for terms & conditions SL-14-024 Book online at www.sealink.co.nz or call 0800 SEALINK (0800 732 546) SL-14-017 Call 0800 SEALINK (0800 732 546) or visit our check-in office. www.sealink.co.nz WIN! Educators, employers, talk work MORE than 80 educators and employers attended the recent Skills Update Day event in Manukau. The Careers New Zealand initiative was held in collaboration with the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) and Infrastructure ITO, and hosted by the Auckland Council’s Southern Initiative. The open day helps to bring educators up to date with new developments in the changing world of work, with the latest event focusing on employment in the building, construction and the infrastructure industries, such as water, roads, power and telecommunications. Educators from close to 30 high schools across South and South-East Auckland attended, including Botany Downs Secondary, Howick, Pakuranga and Edgewater Colleges. The Construction/Infrastructure Futures event was an opportunity for careers teachers, heads of departments of technology, science and maths, and gateway co-ordinators to connect directly with employers. They were able to learn more about the latest industry employment needs, including skills shortages and training opportunities. Panel discussions gave teachers a chance to ask questions about the industry and gain valuable information and insights to share with pupils. Successful young apprentices were also invited to share their personal stories. Event organiser Navazesh Smith, a Careers NZ consultant, says the Skills Update Day aims to encourage connections between schools and industry. The next Skills Update Day will be held this October. Careers NZ is a Crown entity that helps people make decisions about work and learning. See www. careers.govt.nz, or phone 0800-222-733. Game battles depression YOUTH FOCUSED: From left, the creative team behind SPARX, Dr Sally Merry, Dr Karolina Stasiak, Maru Nihoniho of Metia Interactive, Dr Terry Fleming and Dr Matthew Shepherd, with Prime Minister John Key. Photo supplied By Farida Master iNTERACTIVE electronic games that have been accused of prop- agating violence amongst young people have taken a new avatar. Versions of 3D fantasy games are a new tool to help fight depression amongst the digital natives, the new generation of young people who have grown up with comput- ers in the home. In a major breakthrough that is the first in New Zealand and among the first in the world, health science has combined with game technology to create SPARX, a seven-module game with posi- tive reinforcement. Developed by a team of research- ers and clinicians at the Univer- sity of Auckland, along with game developers Metia Interactive and Salt Interactive, the animated game SPARX involves the user choosing an avatar whose mission is to save the world from gloom and negativity. Through a series of quests, the user develops skills that help accomplish the game’s goal, such as dealing with negative thoughts, problem solving, socialising, relax- ing, scheduling activities and more. It uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to teach users the same skills that enables a young person to address stress-related issues. Associate professor in child and adolescent psychiatry, Dr Sally Merry, who led the e-therapy project, says: “We have good evi- dence from clinical trials that the programme is a very effective self- help tool for young people aged 12 to 19 who are depressed.” SPARX is designed as a stand- alone self-help intervention, which can be delivered and supported online with a website providing background information for young people, their families and profes- sionals working with adolescents. There is a depression screening tool Mood Quiz, plus additional information on where to get more help, including support from Life- line and Youthline. When tested in a controlled trial by Auckland University, SPARX was comparable with standard care provided to young people with mild to moderate depression. It was found to be as effective as at least four counselling sessions, with each session lasting an aver- age 30 to 60 minutes. A key researcher behind SPARX, Dr Terry Fleming, of Maraetai, says with 80 per cent of people suffering from anxiety and depres- sion hesitant to get help, it’s a great self-help tool focusing on skill and uses graphics. “Not everyone is good at talk- ing about their problems and this could help those who would rather use their skills at gaming to express themselves,” she says. Dr Fleming’s son Louis, 19, who was involved with the project since he was a 14-year-old student at Howick College, says: “The video game is not only engaging and fun, but is valuable CBT, as it helps identify and reframe thoughts. “It gives a positive perspective without the user getting over- whelmed with information. It allows one to take action.” Project funding was supported by the Ministry of Health through the Prime Minister’s Youth Men- tal Health Project. “The study was published in the influential British Medical Jour- nal,” says Dr Fleming. Parents can go online to www. SPARX.co.nz and see it for them- selves. “This is not to put off people against conventional counselling. “It may not be the answer for everyone, but it’s an online tool, an opportunity to change and take control.” Lifeline chief executive Jo Den- ver agrees, saying: “Delivered through a familiar, attractive and non-threatening platform, SPARX is an important contribution toward the well-being of our youth in Aotearoa.” There is a dedicated phone line, 0508-4-77279.
Howick and Pakuranga Times Thursday July 10 2014
Howick and Pakuranga Times Thursday July 17 2014