Time to wear your gumboots to work!

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Friday, 5 April 2019, 7:00AM
Gumboot Friday is an initiative to raise $2 million to help kids get access to the counselling they need. Photo / Getty Images.

It's time to wear your gumboots to work!

Gumboot Friday is an initiative led by mental health campaigner Mike King, to raise $2 million to help kids get access to the counselling they need. 

Mike King told Tim Dower the idea's simple. 

"For people with depression, it's like walking through mud 365 days a year. So for one day, let's all put on our gumboots and walk through mud with them, and signal to people that we do care and we want to do something about it."

He said it's about "Kiwi fun" as well as helping to raise money and awareness.

"How much more Kiwi can you get than putting on your suit and tie and going to work in gumboots?"

King said the money will be used to make it easier for kids to access free counselling.

"The biggest crisis facing our young people at the moment and their parents, is getting them into face to face counselling."

He said free care is available but only if you have been diagnosed with a mental health problem by a doctor.

"This way, you just go along to the counsellor and make the booking yourself and we pay for it."

The "staunch" attitude we are teaching our kids has to stop, King said.

"Our hard and staunch attitude that we have been teaching them is killing them."

"Last year 137 young people took their own lives because they didn't feel like they could open up and talk about their issues and something has to be done about that."

"We all have problems and we all get up every morning and put on our happy masks and we walk off to work pretending that everything is right with the world and it's a bad example that we are setting for our kids."

He said everyone has problems and we need to normalise talking about them.

Gumboot Friday events

• 9am to noon: Gumboot Friday Dog Walk, Yatton Park, Merivale
• Noon to 9pm: Gumboot Golf, Masonic Park, The Strand 
• Anytime: Donate via the I AM HOPE Givealittle page, in Kiwibank or PostShop branches, at participating stores or direct to account 38 9020 0336055 01.

Where to get help:

If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.

Or if you need to talk to someone else:

Lifeline – 0800 543 354
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Youthline – 0800 376 633 or free text 234
Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (for under 18s)
What's Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds 1pm–10pm weekdays and 3pm–10pm weekends)
Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202
Samaritans – 0800 726 666
OUTLine NZ – 0800 688 5463
Healthline – 0800 611 116

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