Mike King teams up with footie stars for I Am Hope charity game for rangatahi

By Te Ao Toa

Eighty per cent of kids with suicidal thoughts never ask for help. Mike King tells this story to super rugby and rugby league internationals at a fundraiser and awareness rugby game in Mount Maunganui.

"We going to have to change public attitudes and make it ok for people to ask for help," Mike King told Te Ao Toa, at the I Am Hope rugby charity game in the Bay of Plenty.

"We're breaking ground. We've been around coming up to nine years and it's the first time that the main sport in the country has used this platform to drive this kaupapa," says Tai Tupou, I Am Hope youth programme development manager.

"We can use rugby, both male and female, to drive something that's really important for our younger ones, because at the end of the day, it's about passing it onto our rangatahi and making sure we encourage them," Tupou says.

Helplines for children and young people

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat.

thelowdown.co.nz – or email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626.

What's Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). Phone counselling is available every day of the week, 365 days of the year, 11am–11pm. Online chat is available from 11am–10:30pm 7 days a week, including all public holidays.