Breakups suck: New Zealand government to help heartbroken teens recover
The New Zealand government is helping its teens to recover from breakups in an unusual new campaign. This campaign, Love Better is targeted specifically at generation Z to assist them to move on from breakups and broken relationships better. It provides them with a platform where they can talk to professionals about their bad breakups and more through videos, articles and even podcasts.
The Love Better campaign which appears on media and social media platforms is a community of the ‘freshly broken-up helping freshly broken-up’ teens helping out each other in minimising the pain of breakups and bad relationships. In a video released by the New Zealand government, they affirm the universal truth that ‘breakups suck’ and encourage teens to discuss their experiences of being dumped by each other, as a healthy practice to process their feelings.
The platform uses real footage of young people discussing how they deal with breakups, rather than staged or scripted enactments. It uses videos from other platforms as well, like TikTok and Instagram.
The Association Minister for Social Development, Priyanca Radhakrishna told the Guardian on Wednesday, “this isn’t an approach that has been tried by any other government around the world”.
“The way that we’re doing this using some of those real, raw stories but also ensuring that we have platforms that reach young people … is also the power of this campaign.”
As per research commissioned by the government in 2022, nearly 80 per cent of the country’s 16 to 24-year-olds have been in a relationship and 87 per cent of those have experienced harm that went beyond the normal hurt of breaking up. Most young people, around 55 per cent are not confident or only ‘somewhat confident’ they could end a relationship without harm, the figures showed.
While most of the hurt reported was emotional, one in every six young people had faced physical arguments in their relationships.
This is not the first time that the Labour-led New Zealand government is trying such an initiative. In 2021 also, the government launched its first strategy to eliminate domestic violence, an issue which has confounded successive governments and, while difficult to quantify, is widely cited as one of the country’s worst social ills.
“We have very high rates of family and sexual violence in New Zealand,” said Radhakrishnan, who ran a refugee organisation before she entered parliament. “We’ve been working to turn that around and we know that we need some innovative ways to be able to do that.”