This has got to be the hardest, most heartbreaking chat we’ve ever had with Mike King.
Trigger Warning: Youth death, suicide, and eating disorders.
It was announced last week that NZ’s suicide rates have dropped to 538 this year - but that’s still 538 too many. Bryce chatted about the “healthcare trainwreck” we’re living through last week, and this week we had Mike King in studio to further talk about what us kiwis can do to help.
King shared the terrifying statistic that more kids die from eating disorders than they do from any other mental health disorder in NZ.
“It is the most deadly. It’s the silent one, I can tell you right now. You have listeners in their houses, in their cars crying right now and nodding their heads because their kids are suffering. And the waitlist to get to see a specialist is 18 months,” King said.
“I have so many families taking their their sick children with eating disorders and being turned away. I have families who have had their child in the eating and the eating disorder ward at Auckland Hospital who have been kicked out of the ward, who have attempted suicide on the way out the gate. And then tried to get back in and they just get turned away.”
“This is only a problem for families affected by it, but every family knows a family that this is happening to. But we're all remaining silent.
“So if you have a child and this is my message to everyone out there, if you have a child with an eating disorder now or potentially is going to have an eating disorder later in their life because they don't like who they are, they don't like how they look. They think they are the only ones screwing everything up.
“If you think that someone is going to come in on a white horse and save your child, there are no white horses coming. There's no one coming. If you put your faith in the system, there is a better than even chance that your child will die because no one is coming.
“Now, we can either sit around and we can whinge about it or we can do one of two things about it.
“We can invest in our own system, which is Gumboot Friday, and if you can’t invest, stop being silent. You need to speak up about this.
“I am sick and tired of people coming to me. ‘I love your post, Mike. I love your post.’ What, the post where I wrote about the mum whose child's dying or his child is dead? You love that post?
“You're not meant to love these posts. You're meant to be hurt by these posts. You're meant to be scared by these posts. You are meant to be horrified. You are meant to be angry. Be angry. Stop being silent and leaving it for other people to do it. Because I'll tell you, other people are tired. I'm tired.
“I'm tired of leaving my home on the fucking weekend and having my wife crying because I'm not home. I'm tired of all these fucking virtue signals on social media telling me what I should be doing.
“I’m just tired. I can't do it. It's. We collectively have to fucken do something.
“We cannot let the bureaucrats that run this country - and this is not a political thing. If you think that when National get in, things are going to be different, you live in in la la land.
“If we don't do something about these arrogant bureaucrats, then no one is going to do anything. I hear parents all the time talking about the kids leaving their socks on the floor, dishes in the sink. There are hundreds of families out there that would give anything for their kids socks to be on the floor, to fucking have dishes in the sink.
“It’s fucked up. The system is fucked up and no one is doing anything about it. We have to do some shit.”
Bryce said what we were all thinking, and told Mike “you have saved so many families.”
Rog also got emotional during the chat, and told Mike that if it wasn’t for I Am Hope, children at his wife’s school would have nowhere else to go.
Have a watch of the video up top. And if you can - text ‘BOOTS’ to 469 for an instant $3 donation to Gumboot Friday.
If you or someone you know is struggling, head here for a bunch of links that may help you out. It's never weak to speak.