King visit deemed a huge success

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The Oamaru and Kurow community events that featured Mike King and Tai Tupou were deemed a fantastic success.

Mr King and Mr Tupou were here talking about their struggles in life and telling people who felt they could be depressed that seeking help was the best course of action.

The Oamaru event saw around 64 people attend what was a highly engaging, entertaining and thought-provoking conversation about depression.

Community safety and development facilitator Helen Algar said it was fantastic having the men come and talk.

“Mike’s story was told with an authenticity and honesty that was both refreshing and confronting. I think everyone in the room could relate to something in his story. There was something for everyone, whether they were experiencing depression or not. “

Mrs Algar said there were some important messages taken out of the meetings.

“The key messages I took away were that to ask for help is a sign of strength and that as a society we need to be more aware of just how many people are affected to some degree,” she said

“We also need to be supportive to strengthen families and communities to respond and address the causes of stress and anxiety, before they become something that can feel insurmountable,” Mrs Algar said.

Mrs Algar said Mr King and Mr Tupou were inspiring.

“Mike’s presentation also highlighted that as parents we should give ourselves permission to ‘trust’ our young people more, listen and communicate more openly with them and if we do we can build great futures.”

Carron Cossens, who helped organise the event for Kurow, said Mr King and Mr Tupou were just fascinating.

“We had 69 people here which was really good and we know that everyone who attended definitely took something out of the meeting.”

Mrs Cossens said they were so entertaining and would jump at the chance to hear him again.

“If they were to come back, we would definitely like to host them again.”

They raised $221 for Mr King’s Key to Life Charitable trust.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY