Advice regarding children and young people who have seen Christchurch events video or manifesto

Some children and young people have been exposed to the video or manifesto either through coming across them on social media or in some cases seeking them out on the internet. Some may have shared all or part of them in some way.

They may be worried that they will now get into trouble or even face prosecution for their actions. They may be experiencing guilt or shame and be concealing their actions and worried about the consequences.  They may be experiencing other effects from the disturbing images they viewed.

Ways to support them:

  • It’s important to help young people understand their behaviour. They can understand it in terms of wanting to seek information and know/comprehend what was going on in a heightened environment, or receiving information from others that they automatically clicked on. 
  • Talk about this as an action taken in a time of heightened concern and limited information regarding what was occurring.
  • Talk about this as something that they can learn from (growth mindset). 
  • Listen, and show empathy and compassion.
  • Encourage young people to seek help from someone they trust and who won’t judge them. This could be a teacher, counsellor, parent, or friend.
  • Young people are often exposed to inappropriate content through the internet and social media. Acknowledge that adults/platform providers have a responsibility to make the internet safer.
  • Encourage young people to seek help if they feel distress, fear, guilt or shame that feels unmanageable. Agencies available to provide free support include Youthline(external link)Need to Talk(external link) and Kidsline(external link).
  • Explore with them their own values and things that are important to them, such as showing kindness, improving the world, being a good friend.

We encourage parents and schools to limit online time by children and young people. Netsafe has useful advice on discussing with young people what they should do if they come across distressing content online(external link).


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