By Stan Stewart.
A dynamic speaker on a critically important subject.
“Gumboot Friday” is coming across New Zealand - Nov 3, 2023.
It will be very present in Whitianga outside of Harcourts 2.30 - 4.00pm this coming Friday.
Michael King is a New Zealand mental health advocate, television personality, and former comedian. He spoke at a public meeting in Whitianga Bowling Club on Wednesday October 25. This was part of a five-stop speaking tour around the Coromandel Peninsula. He shared his own battle with mental health and his personal awakening to the value of counselling. This personal journey led him to establish “I am Hope,” a child and youth support and counselling service.
‘I Am Hope’ is a registered charity under I Am Hope Foundation founded by Mike King. I Am Hope aims to promote positive attitudinal societal change around such subjects as self-doubt, bullying and depression. Many of these debilitating symptoms are the result of distressing self-talk and anxious over-thinking. Counselling can help with these conditions. Children and young people can come to understand that their anxieties are common, even normal and that they are not weird or defective.
The dream behind ‘I am hope’ is that one day soon, any child in New Zealand can quickly get help when they need it – no questions asked.
Points from Mike’s presentation.
Self Esteem - Mike said that often parents/caregivers who have had a bad day, then (perhaps unthinkingly) unload all their negativity onto the child. Children internalise these matters and think they are in some way to blame. When couples get a divorce, very often the children blame themselves for the break-up. This shatters self-esteem.
Parents should talk more with their children – explain the difficulties they face. The main thing here is to make it clear to the child that their troubles (the parent’s troubles) are not the fault of the child. Parents should listen to their children’s feelings.
Gumboot Friday can put children/teens in touch with a wide range of counselling support – over 300 counsellors from which to choose. Through the Gumboot Friday Website, they can have immediate access to an easy-to-use interface offering all kinds of professional support.
Let’s face it; New Zealand has a problem with child and teen mental health. We need all the help we can get. In 2020 UNICEF ranked New Zealand last of the 38 developed countries in OECD in terms of Child Mental Well-being.
Researcher, Lindsay Mitchell, examined this terrible statistic and the reasons behind it. “What I found was New Zealand has the worst youth suicide, self-harm and bullying statistics. Mental disorders have risen significantly, as has consumption of antidepressants and anti-psychotics. These increases are above what is occurring in the general population. He also suggests that other factors lie behind these statistics - transience, and multiple parenting relationships.
Gumboot Friday at Harcourts Whitianga
Dayle Candy and the Harcourts team will be ready for the community on Friday afternoon.
The need for young people to get counselling and find a way through depression needs continuing
highlighting. I Am Hope has a lot of support in Mercury Bay.
Bryan Thomson, Managing Director added, ‘The mental health of young kiwis is something we
need to address and look after. Harcourts Foundation are incredibly proud to support Gumboot
Dayle candy and the staff of Harcourts will be organising a Sausage Sizzle and other fun events on the footpath outside their Harcourts premises, 71 Albert Street. They will also be set up to take donations. Come prepared to support this terrific initiative
See you all outside Harcourts this Friday afternoon 2.30pm