Face of the day

Murray Wilson/ Fairfax NZ Mike King talks about suicide prevention and mental health at the MUSA Lounge at Massey University

Murray Wilson/ Fairfax NZ
Mike King talks about suicide prevention and mental health at the MUSA Lounge at Massey University

Today’s face of the day is Mike King. I was privileged to meet Mike earlier this year when I was waiting in the makeup room while Cam was getting ready to go on a show on Maori Television. He is a really lovely guy and is doing a really important job talking about suicide prevention and mental health. Guys like Mike have made it easier for men to ask for help and to talk about what they are going through. He is a role model and living proof that real men, real blokes, can suffer from depression just like the rest of us and can also get help and get better. Having lived with a husband with depression for ten years I know first hand how much it hurts both the depressed person and everyone around them. I suffered from depression myself for a few years so I know what it is like on the other side as well.

Comedian Mike King wants to help prevent suicide by encouraging discussion and changing societal attitude towards mental health.

More than 200 people gathered at Massey University’s Manawatu campus on Wednesday to participate in a forum on suicide prevention and Mental Health Awareness.

King, who was the main speaker, told the crowd that holding on to negative thoughts and trying to battle bad times alone whas what killed people.

“The more we talk about our problems; the more we give other people the opportunity to talk about theirs.

“We need to stop trying to fix anyone elses problems, we are not qualified to fix everyone else’s problems, we are only qualified to give unconditional love.”

He talked about his own experience and how that experience was key in educating others.

“I’ve had two major attempts, the first one was in Hong Kong – 30th March 2007 – after a massive stroke.

“I wasn’t successful. And then I tried again two months later.”

King has been travelling around the country for the past two years spreading his message about prevention. He has spoken to more than 60,00 young people.

He said his whole life had changed since he began speaking about suicide prevention.

“I was rich and famous once and I was miserably unhappy. Now I’m broke, living in South Auckland and I’ve never been happier in my life.”

HOW TO GET HELP

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 Depression Helpline (8am to midnight) – 0800 111 757

Kidsline (aimed at children up to 14; 4pm to 6pm weekdays) – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline)

Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else; noon to midnight) – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234, email [email protected]

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

thelowdown.co.nz – visit the website, email [email protected] down.co.nz or free text 5626 (emails, text messages answered between noon and midnight).

– Stuff

 


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