from the Daily–

Dear Jacinda,

For the last 10 years me and my little team at I AM HOPE have been visiting schools from Cape Reinga to Bluff in order to better understand what is driving our appalling youth suicide rate.

After speaking with, and listening to over 300,000 young people,we have made some groundbreaking discoveries which I will share with you now

  • 40% of young people will have a suicidal thought before they leave school
  • Shockingly, 80% of those kids never ask for help for fear of what friends, family, or society will think, say, or do. And by continuing to push your ‘reach out and ask for help’ message you are actually making things worse
  • The number one problem driving suicidal thinking in young people is imposter syndrome and an overactive inner critic.
  • The pressure of living in a “perfection is the only acceptable standard” world our kids live in is having a devastating effect on their wellbeing by forcing them to hold on to problems out of fear of not being perfect
  • Young people want help but either don’t know how to access it, can’t find it, have to jump through to many hoops to get it or the help they receive is not actually helpful

To combat these issues we have developed two in-school programs that normalise overthinking and give practical tools to manage each individuals inner critic. Both programs focus on the importance of reframing vulnerability from being seen as a weakness, to being seen as a strength, which is what it really is.

And the number one lesson they learn from our young ambassadors is NO ONE HAS GOT THEIR SHIT TOGETHER!

Demand is so high for both programs that we have a six month waiting list from schools wanting us to visit. These talks are delivered free of charge and all expenses are covered by our charity and many generous donors.

We have also developed a world class counselling service that we designed to take the pressure off your mental health crisis teams. We are currently doing 75% of the total combined volume of counselling sessions provided by every DHB in the country. We are faster, cheaper and more efficient than anything your experts have come up with and receive no funding from you whatsoever.

Which brings me to my point. Could you please explain what expertise Nanaia Mahuta’s husband has in suicide prevention and what his funding was used for?

Were you and your officials not concerned by how this would look when it came to the public’s attention or did you arrogantly expect it would fly under the radar?

Prime Minister, when you came into power you promised you would be the most open and transparent government of all time but in reality you are just like everybody else with too much power and it has clouded your thinking. For a long time I have felt angry at the way you and your administration have handled mental health, but now I just feel sad for you because in a few years when you look back on your time in government I know you are going to look back and say ‘I wish I had done more’

Nga mihi nui

Mike King

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