Just by listening, you’re helping
People following the pathway to depression will encounter similar warning signs along the way.
It involves self doubt, low self esteem, as they struggle to talk about the problems holding them back in life.
But the pathway out of depression is a different journey for everyone. Some turn to sport, fitness and health and for others it’s about religion.
‘‘Every time someone tells their story about getting out of depression it’s like throwing a ladder into a dark hole,’’ said Mike King.
‘‘The journey out of that dark place is different for everyone, and that’s the important part to understand.’’
The former stand-up comedian and television presenter was the guest speaker at a special assembly at Matamata College, sharing his personal story about his battle with depression.
He hoped to inspire students to look after one another and long term, change the community’s attitude towards mental health issues.
‘‘My challenge to everyone in this room today is to reach out to your friends and tell them you love them.
‘‘I’ve been to way too many funerals of people who have taken their own lives, and you hear people declare their love for them.
‘‘That’s no good because they’re gone. You’ve got to declare your love now.’’
King understood students telling each other they cared might not appear to be the coolest thing to do.
‘‘But what you’ve done - if they’re struggling - is to plant a seed in their head. They’ll realise that, ‘someone cares about me’.’’
King said it was important because mental health was the only health problem in the country where a person in crisis had to find their own help.
King presented the assembly with a set of white wrist bands which would identify those wearing them as people who were willing to help others.
‘‘This is a wrist band that says, I am hope. If you are wearing this, what you are saying is that if people are in a bad place, come and see me. I will not shame you or judge you or talk about you to anyone else.
‘‘If you want to go and get some help, I will come with you.’’
King had been invited to speak at the district’s colleges, and a community meeting, by Matamata-Piako Volunteer Youth Ambassadors.
Mike King making some new friends at Matamata College, with Stanley Mayo, T-Rellis Tutua-Nathan and William Louch.