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Sir John Kirwan Here To Help

Former Blues rugby coach Sir John Kirwan believes the only way to eradicate mental illness is to educate people on the issue. He was not surprised when approached for his
05 Sep 2015 10:48
Sir John Kirwan Here To Help
Sir John Kirwan at the Nadi International Airport yesterday. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Former Blues rugby coach Sir John Kirwan believes the only way to eradicate mental illness is to educate people on the issue.

He was not surprised when approached for his views on the alleged suicide of the three students at Vatuwaqa earlier this week.

“It is a problem among our youths today; it is an illness that is a killer; the same thing is also happening in New Zealand,” Sir John said.

“Our youths have a lot of pressure in school nowadays and cyberspace changes their outlook.  I am very passionate about the illness and weaknesses that lead to suicide; it’s not the option but some people think otherwise.”

Sir John is in the country to talk about mental health.

“First there is a need to have an open-door discussion; to understand and educate people about this illness that is affecting young people.

“I’m very passionate about mental health and about rugby as well but my other love is about the well-being of other people and hope.

“Creating smiles and talking about mental illness more; taking the stigma away and just normalising as much as we can,” he said.

Meanwhile the women of the West Business Network will host a talanoa session with Sir John to share his journey on mental depression.

Sir John will be joined by former All Blacks and rugby greats Charles Riechelmann and Olo Brown from 10am – 12pm midday at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.

This session will include Q&A, and will suit those in essential services and the front line of mental health support, human resource management, and those interested to know more about what to do, “when the joy goes out of your life”.

Later in the evening he will be present at a Gala Dinner where the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, will be attending on behalf of the Fiji Alliance for Mental Health at the Sheraton Fiji Resort ballroom on Denarau Island.

 

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