I’m feeling overwhelmed and down. We are in the last week of our four week lockdown, waiting for the decision to come out and I’m scared. If we come out too early, disaster will follow but hubris is rampant and we are moving back to the business focused competitive narrative.
Here in Aotearoa New Zealand the government has realized that locked down citizens would struggle with mental health. So… we have access to apps to help. Enter John Kerwin.
John Kerwin is an amazing leader and a hero to me. He was an amazing All Black scoring 199 first class trys; including 35 trys for the All Blacks. After his playing career he became a successful coach. In 1989 he was made a member of the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to rugby. That made him Sir John Kerwin. But that is not why he is my hero. We would think a man like this would have a perfect life. Perfectly happy.
But no. Sir John Kerwin suffers from depression, as I do. He’s one of my heroes because he leads depression education and help programs here in Aotearoa.
An All Black suffers from depression. Knowing that helped me.
Depression is a disease of excellence. When high achievers like me, like John Kerwin, find themselves in impossible positions we keep pushing. But that doesn’t work. The result is burnout and depression. John Kerwin helped me and many other New Zealanders by making his struggle public and then working to help. His efforts were so effective that in 2007 he received a second knighthood for services to mental health. That is why he is a hero of mine. Playing rugby is one thing, helping mental health, that’s awesome.
Which brings me back to today. Lockdown and mental health. John Kerwin’s Mentemia app is one of three available to help us mentally manage lockdown. Its good. I recommend it.
And part of, good, is encouraging cooperation.
I’m finishing with this video which is the starting point of this note. The instinct to cooperate is an old one. All the way back in our evolutionary past. A story of evolution and beautifully told and illustrated. Science, art, story; together. And, “It all began with cells evolving to cooperate, and create new possibilities for life”
Mentemia is here