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Kiwis must break 'archaic' view of depression - Rob Mokaraka

The Project logoThe Project 11/06/2018 Newshub staff
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Rob Mokaraka is on a mission to get New Zealanders to open up about depression.

He's  known for his work in TV, film and theatre - but the act he became most famous for was trying to commit suicide by police in 2009. 

His plan failed, and after recovering he wrote a play about it called Shot Bro - Confessions of a Depressed Bullet.

He spoke to The Project about the need to shine a line on mental health in New Zealand.

"We need to illuminate this problem, because it grows in the shadows and the silence, so we need to illuminate it, we need to put heaps of aroha and light on it so we can educate ourselves," he says.

"I've got people who, when I'm feeling suicidal or just have the thoughts, I have three people I can talk to."

Mr Mokaraka says he wouldn't wish being shot at on his worst enemy, and now believes "crying is better than dying - and it's okay to ask for help".

He had an epiphany after the incident and the pain that it put him through.

"I knew I just should have spoken. Some people don't get to come back and have that second chance. I have."

Mr Mokora says "we have to break down this archaic mentality that we shouldn't talk about our feelings".

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention and mental health: 

  • Lifeline's 24-hour telephone counseling service on 0800 543 354 
  • Need to talk? 1737 – free call or text any time to talk to a trained counselor  
  • Depression Helpline (8am to 12 midnight) - 0800 111 757 
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) 
  • Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz 
  • Healthline – 0800 611 116  
  • Samaritans – 0800 726 666 

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111. 

 

Where to get help relating to suicide and mental health: 

o Need to talk? 1737 – free call or text any time to talk to a trained counsellor o Lifeline – 0800 543 354 o Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757 o Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) o Healthline – 0800 611 116 o Samaritans – 0800 726 666

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111. 

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