Men­tal health strikes cord for record- chaser

Weekend Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

An Auck­land dare­devil is on a mis­sion to crack a world record for the most bungy jumps in 24 hours — all while fundrais­ing for men­tal health causes.

Mike Heard will start his at­tempt at 7pm on Tues­day from the Auck­land Har­bour Bridge. His “con­ser­va­tive goal” is 200 jumps in the 24 hours fol­low­ing, and he said he was thriv­ing on the pres­sure.

“I’m want­ing to give the record a solid nudge and bring it home.

“I en­joy putting my­self out­side my com­fort zone”.

Heard has pre­vi­ously set two Guin­ness World Records for bungy jump­ing — the first in 2008 when he jumped 103 times in 24 hours from the Har­bour Bridge and then again in 2014 when he jumped 80 times in 60 min­utes.

His 24- hour record was beaten in 2014 and is cur­rently held by Colin Phillips, who jumped 151 times in 24 hours in Dubai.

Heard is con­fi­dent he can beat his old record as he is now able to use a shorter rope, around 5- 10m, mean­ing he doesn’t have to get dunked in the water each time.

“[ For the first record] my cord was 20m; I got wet and very, very cold.”

Heard said there are no proven health is­sues that re­sult from too much bungy jump­ing, but he will have a med­i­cal team on standby.

The 35- yearold, who works in the tech­nol­ogy sec­tor, is hop­ing to raise more than $ 50,000 for the Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion. He said he wanted to do it for a good cause and men­tal health felt right con­sid­er­ing New Zealand’s prob­lems with sui­cide. He had tried to sup­port friends and fam­ily who strug­gled with men­tal health is­sues in the past. “I did a pretty s*** job. I thought if they were de­pressed or anx­ious they needed to go do some­thing they en­joy. But it’s not like that. “I want to high­light how peo­ple can be there for friends and fam­ily as a sup­port per­son . . . You’ve got to bounce back.” Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion spokesman Shaun Robin­son said the money raised would go to­wards cam­paigns and ser­vices cov­er­ing the “A- Z of men­tal health and well- be­ing” such as sui­cide preven­tion.

“We think it’s fan­tas­tic that Mike wants to sup­port changes in men­tal health through his bungy record­break­ing feat. We use the idea of bouncing back from ad­ver­sity as an anal­ogy for men­tal health re­silience, and the bungy is a good image to rep­re­sent that.”

Heard said he was ner­vous in the lead- up to the record at­tempt as he pre­dicted some “grim mo­ments” bungy jump­ing through the night.

But with all that ex­pe­ri­ence un­der his belt, he had a tip for first­timers — al­ways dou­ble jump.

“The first time you bungy you’re scared s*** less. It messes with you.

“If you’re go­ing to do your first one, do a sec­ond one so you know what’s com­ing and you can start to en­joy the feel­ing you get from it.

“For me do­ing it over and over, you don’t get that adrenalin rush . . . It’ll be bor­ing.” An ac­claimed 300- piece New Zealand art col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing works by Colin McCa­hon, Don Bin­ney and Ralph Hotere, has fetched $ 3 mil­lion at auc­tion. The trea­sured mod­ern- art col­lec­tion over 50 years by War­wick Brown and his late wife Kitty went un­der the ham­mer at Moss­greenWebb’s in Auck­land on Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day. Nearly 100 works sold on the first night. Brown was de­lighted with the re­sults of the sale and in par­tic­u­lar the re­sponse to the smaller works sold on the sec­ond evening. “They are like old friends to me.” One per­son died and six peo­ple were in­jured, two crit­i­cally, in a se­ri­ous crash about 3.50pm yes­ter­day near Te Kauwhata. Two Auck­land West­pac Res­cue he­li­copters trans­ferred two peo­ple from the scene on Waerenga Rd to hos­pi­tal. In a sep­a­rate crash, one per­son died af­ter a camper­van and a car crashed in Otaraia near Gore, at 4.30pm yes­ter­day. One per­son was taken to Dunedin Hos­pi­tal by he­li­copter, with non- life threat­en­ing in­juries and a third per­son to In­ver­cargill Hos­pi­tal by am­bu­lance. Prime Min­is­ter Bill English says the Bri­tish Con­ser­va­tive Party’s new plans to clamp down on im­mi­gra­tion will sting New Zealan­ders want­ing to live in the UK, in­clud­ing on the tra­di­tional OE, but there is lit­tle he can do un­til Brexit is com­pleted. The Tory Party’s elec­tion man­i­festo in­cludes plans to dras­ti­cally cut net mi­gra­tion from 273,000 to less than 100,000 by tar­get­ing stu­dents and work­ing visas. English said on his visit to the UK in Jan­uary that May had made it clear he need not bother even try­ing to get a bet­ter deal for New Zealand un­til Brexit was done. A 34- year- old man crushed be­tween two cars in Taka­puna on Tues­day had been rush­ing to buy tick­ets to the Wig­gles for his fam­ily. He was walk­ing away from his parked car when he saw it rolling to­wards an­other ve­hi­cle be­hind him. “The man had at­tempted to get his car to stop it hit­ting the other ve­hi­cle and be­came trapped be­tween both ve­hi­cles,” said Se­nior Con­sta­ble An­drew Keith. He was taken to Auck­land City Hos­pi­tal and was in a sta­ble con­di­tion yes­ter­day. Cel­e­brat­ing the mu­sic of Cream! Mal­colm Bruce, son of the late Jack Bruce, joins Jack to talk about his trib­ute to the su­per­band.

Pic­ture / Michael Craig

Sarah Har­ris Watch NZH Fo­cus video at nzher­ald. co. nz Mike Heard says New Zealand’s sad record with sui­cide made him want to sup­port men­tal heath causes. Art auc­tion earns $ 3m Two killed in crashes Brexit will hit Ki­wis’ OE Man hurt in Wig­gles dash

Jack Tame New­stalk ZB 9am

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