‘Break-ups suck’: New Zealand campaign comforts forlorn youth

Six in 10 New Zealanders aged between 16 and 24 have been through a break-up. PHOTO: UNSPLASH

WELLINGTON - New Zealand launched a campaign on Wednesday to help young Kiwis through painful break-ups, encouraging the heartbroken to “own the feels” and block their exes on social media.

The government’s novel “Love Better” campaign offers advice and support about what to do when the romance ends, and will feature in podcasts and on platforms like Instagram.

“Break-ups suck... but you can channel it for good. Own the feels,” says a soothing voiceover in the campaign video.

Six in 10 New Zealanders aged between 16 and 24 have been through a break-up, and a large majority of those have “experienced or perpetrated harmful impacts” as a result, according to data analysts Kantar.

New Zealand also has one of the highest youth suicide rates in the developed world, according to the UN agency Unicef.

The new campaign bills itself as “a community of the freshly broken-up, helping the freshly broken-up to keep a little hurt from becoming a lotta hurt”.

The video includes young people explaining how they dealt with break-ups.

“I’m going to have to do it, honestly. This is getting ridiculous, this is getting so out of hand. I need to sleep at night. I need to get over her,” says one restless youngster who proceeds to block his former crush on social media.

Ms Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Associate Minister for Social Development, said the government was putting NZ$6.4 million (S$5.3 million) into the campaign over three years.

“We know break-ups hurt. We want to support our young people... and (let them) know that there is a way through without harming themselves or others,” she said.

Ms Radhakrishnan said “Love Better” was a “primary prevention campaign” so youngsters could share “real stories to help their peers who may be going through similar experiences”. AFP

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