Sir John Kirwan will travel to Kaitaia in early April to speak to students and the wider community about his personal story and messages around depression, hope, and mental wellness.
Registrations to attend this free session with JK at the Te Ahu Centre on 4 April are now open.
The Westpac Ambassador will open up about his own experiences, and focus on resilience and courage.
Speaking from experience
Publicly outing himself as prone to depression, JK has earned the respect of communities all around NZ as he takes his message on the road connecting with Kiwis of all backgrounds, ethnicities and ages.
“I just tell my story. Why would I be depressed? I had the perfect world. I was an All Black living a great life. And often that’s the first question you’d say to yourself, you know.
“There are a couple of things that are really important for me. Firstly, depression, it’s an illness, not a weakness.”
JK's goal: no more suicides in New Zealand
The Westpac Ambassador will speak at a local High School and has a passionate message to share.
“Youth in New Zealand and our rural sector have the highest suicide rates, so it’s not something we can’t ignore. It’s something I want to tackle head on and openly talk about because you can get through it and there’s a lot of hope out there if you reach out and look for it.”
He says one of the most important things is continuing to talk about the issues.
“I don’t pretend to know exactly what people are going through or what’s pushed them to be unwell, but what I do know is I’ve been there and done that, and a lot of the symptoms are the same and a lot of the recovery you can do is the same.”
JK says the idea is to stand up, be real, and have an honest, open conversation.
Those keen to head along are encouraged to register as soon as possible as there are limited seats available.