Speak up and get help, King urges

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Encouraging young people to come forward and speak, rather than keep things bottled up inside was the inspiration behind a talk given by Mike King and Tai Tupou at St Kevin’s College yesterday.

Both Mr King and Mr Tupou have had their struggles with feeling isolated and having no-one to talk to and both contemplated suicide before they talked, opened up and received the help they required.

Coming forward and admitting you have a problem is difficult. Mr King said it’s not something Kiwis are taught to do and that’s what his Key to Life Charitable Trust is all about.

“We as Kiwis are seen as weak if we don’t come forward and say we have a problem and I know that because I was guilty of doing this myself.,” he said.

Mr King, who was an alcoholic and drug addict at the age of 13, said it was crucial people got help.

“They need to get help. You can’t have young people bottling all this stuff up and having two voices inside their head; it’s too much to handle.”

Mr Tupou, who was two days out from becoming a professional rugby league player with the Warriors before disaster struck, also said people need to get help.

“They need it. I tried to keep everything to myself and it didn’t work. Make sure you talk with your parents regularly,” Mr Tupou said.

Mr King and Mr Tupou spoke at the Brydone last night. Today they are scheduled to visit Waitaki Boys’ High School, East Otago High School and the Kurow Community Centre.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY

INSPIRED: Sydney Telfer, Angus Macaulay, Kerra Fissenden, Tai Tupou, Mike King, Logan Chandler, Leam Ryan, Evie Sefton and Connor Daly at St Kevin’s College yesterday.