Sir John Kirwan is heading to Reporoa and Lumsden to share his personal story around depression, hope, and mental wellness.
Registrations to attend these free sessions with JK at Northern Southland College, Lumsden, on October 17 and Reporoa College, Reporoa, on October 24 and are now open.
The Westpac Ambassador will open up about his own experiences and focus on resilience and courage.
Publicly outing himself as prone to depression, JK says he’s looking forward to meeting some of the locals.
“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.”
He says youth in New Zealand and our rural sector have the highest suicide rates and not something we can 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.”
JK believes one of the most important things is continuing to talk about the issues.
“I don’t pretend to know 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.”
He says the idea of sharing his story is to stand up, be real, and have an honest, open conversation.
With limited seats available, those keen to head along will need to register.