Youth helpline : who, how and why?

Thumbnail Image
Other Title
El Haddad, Mira
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Applied Practice
Unitec Institute of Technology
Gremillion, Helen
Hughes, Catherine
Connor, Helene
Bridgman, Geoffrey
Masters Dissertation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
youth workers
New Zealand
youth counselling
Barnados's What's Up helpline
computer mediated communications (CMC)
text messaging
live chat
instant messaging
smart phone apps
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
El Haddad, M. (2016). Youth helpline: Who, how and why? An unpublished dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Applied Practice, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand
The aim of this research is to establish whether phone line support for youth is a preferred modality for service users, or whether clients would prefer access to the service throughvother forms of telecommunication. Barnardos’s ‘What’s Up’ helpline, a free counselling phone service for vulnerable youth, will be used as a case study. The research will include a simple evaluation of the current service, and seek out ways the service could be improved to suitably cater for callers. This project investigates whether alternative access to phone line support through text messaging, live chat, and/or smart phone app could contribute to improving and expanding traditional phone line services in Aotearoa New Zealand. Determine whether vulnerable youth who are currently accessing an 0800 phone line are interested in accessing support via computer mediated communications (CMC). Subquestions: Determine whether clients are satisfied with the content of the current phone line service used for the purposes of this research (Barnardos’s What’s Up helpline). This research will aim to provide evidence indicating whether phone line services can be improved through CMC technology. In addition, it will provide empirical evidence to Barnardos about ways in which they could improve and expand their support services. Findings will be passed on to Barnardos, possibly in the form of a presentation as well as a hard document. Barnardos are currently running a pilot project in Christchurch to see what uptake of other technologies may be wanted or used by youth. They have never been in a position to verify their existing survey findings and anecdotal evidence that their current helpline service is useful ; this research will also provide an indication of client satisfaction with the current service.
Link to ePress publication
Copyright holder
Copyright notice
All rights reserved
Copyright license
Available online at