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. 

 

The Team

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Director | Founder | Clinical Psychologist
At the core of my being I feel a calling to help people and the planet to flourish into a beautiful ecosystem to be proud of. Overcoming challenging experiences growing up, like being bullied and developing social anxiety, steered me onto a path that would define my career and role as a healer within communities. As I explored psychology and mindfulness in the context of improving myself, I began to discover that teaching my personal tools was hugely beneficial.

I've worked at a Inpatient Rehabilitation centre, contracted with the Mental Health Foundation of NZ, worked in private practise at Healthfit Collective, and co-created strategy and content for Coliberate. I also co-founded Mindfulness for Change, a growing community of people working together on the intersection of mindfulness and social change. I have been teaching mindfulness and psychological tools in a variety of settings – Healthfit Collective, Enspiral Dev Academy, Victoria University, University of Otago, and several music and arts festivals.

I believe that the key to solving many of the world's problems is to first look internally, so we can better serve our purpose in co-creating an awe inspiring future. 

Film Producer | Videographer | Marketing
I joined Tough Talk at the beginning of 2018, making it a team of two. I am originally from Des Moines, Iowa but my heart also considers Colorado home as I lived there for a number of years before coming to New Zealand. My intention was to work on organic farms and in the outdoors as I have a deep passion for regenerating the natural environment. 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 South Island farmer, and Sam. It was my first glimpse into 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 to come from a far away land and be welcomed with open arms.