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Our Mission


Our Mission

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Our Mission


Our Mission

Our mission is to improve the mental health of New Zealanders by removing the stigma surrounding men talking about feelings, and providing therapeutic tools for the community. 

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The Why

The statistics state that men commit suicide in New Zealand almost 3x more often than woman do.

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The How

We're talking to Kiwi men from all over the country about their experiences with mental health to make this conversation relatable for all men. 

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The Tools

We create therapeutic tools for the community to use for their own mental health. All tools created by Sam O'Sullivan, Clinical Psychologist. 

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Bio


Sam O'Sullivan

Clinical Psychologist - Founder

Bio


Sam O'Sullivan

Clinical Psychologist - Founder

 

I've gone off the beaten track walked by many Clinical Psychologists. I first experienced the benefits of learning how to calmly focus my mind when I was having panic attacks as a young man - mindfulness helped me work through my struggles with confidence and I started to grow into the person I always wanted to be. I progressed from avoiding public speaking to giving talks, teaching classes and winning prizes for presenting my work.

I trained at Otago University and then decided to start my career by jumping into the deep end - by working in a rehabilitation centre for people with serious psychiatric disorders. In this job I began teaching mindfulness to groups and witnessed again the powerful positive impact that learning this skill can have. I also noticed that the majority of people in the hospital were men. I suspected that the culture of being a "hard man" was playing a role, as many of the men there had not felt able to talk about their problems when they had started to develop, or had not been encouraged by others to do so. 

I went on to work as private practitioner and found my style resonated with New Zealand men, who sought me out for coaching and therapy. Even with everyday blokes I continued to see the Kiwi male culture playing a role in the problems they were facing, as many of them hadn't explored what was going on with anyone else before seeing me, particularly with other men. I also discovered that many of these men had found their own ways to be mindful, through activities like fishing, hunting, swimming and running. When I helped these men to translate this skill to other areas of their life they no longer needed my support. So I thought, why not do this on a bigger scale? Tough Talk was born.

 
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Kristina's Bio


Kristina Ryan

Film Producer | Marketing | Videographer

Kristina's Bio


Kristina Ryan

Film Producer | Marketing | Videographer

 

 

I’ve been a part of Tough Talk for the past 6 months. I am originally from Des Moines, Iowa but my heart also considers Colorado home as I’ve lived there for a number of years before coming here. I intended to arrive in New Zealand and begin working on farms and in the natural environment I have a deep passion for the environment and sustainability. I never could have imagined that I would end up filming a documentary and having such a deep look into the inner landscape of Aotearoa. 

Within 7 days of being here, I found myself filming a conversation between Doug Avery, a farmer on the South Island, and Sam. I witnessed the challenges that many New Zealand farmers face. During that interview, I felt a real passion blossoming for what I was doing. That passion has only grown and is still growing today. 

On a day to day level, I manage the marketing & communications, plus do videography and producing. You'll probably notice my videography skills progress from Doug's interview & onward. I have a background in marketing but none in videography and I have cherished learning the art form for this cause. I feel a real privilege coming from a far away land and being welcomed with open arms.

 
 
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Contact link


Contact link