Mental health advocate Mike King has been awarded Te Tupu-ā-Rangi Award for Health and Science Award at the Matariki Awards tonight, for his work around mental health awareness with the Key To Life Charitable Trust.
He says the role of the trust is to empower young people to come up with solutions to their own problems “through trust and education”.
His honest approach has helped normalise conversation around mental health around Aotearoa.
“I always believe that if you are honest and you’re telling the truth and you’re telling people that you’re changing, you’re committed to change,” says King, of Te Māhurehure.
A highlight for his was earlier this year when he embarked on a 4000km journey from Bluff to Cape Reinga by motor scooter, as a part of his I Am Hope tour.
Along the way King and several others stopped at around 45 schools and community halls to talk to more than 20,000 students.
The tour raised awareness about encouraging openness within communities when people come to seek help when faced with bullying, depression, low self-worth, anxiety or any other mental health issues.
In a recent interview with Māori Television King said, “We need to listen to [youth]. We need to empower them to find the solutions.”
The Health and Science category also included finalists Dr David Tipene-Leach and Dr Matire Harwood for their work to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of New Zealanders.