Former All Black John Kirwan, whose book All Blacks Don't
Cry describes his battle with depression. Photo from NZ
Schools in Oamaru are being targeted in the next step of
a Timaru man's quest to start a national campaign aimed at
raising awareness of the debilitating effects of depression.
After reading Sir John Kirwan's book All Blacks Don't Cry,
which details the former All Black's own battle with
depression, Timaru boat shop owner Hayden Vaughan decided to
take the message to local schools in Timaru by providing
second-hand copies of the book to as many schools as
Mr Vaughan said since he started the campaign last February,
he had delivered 387 copies of the book to nine South
Canterbury high schools, and the campaign had been met with a
''really positive'' reaction from schools, teachers and
''There's been lots of talk about it and that's what we
wanted to achieve, and lots of students going home and
opening up to their parents.
''I have had a couple of parents call me saying their young
men have been suffering for years, but never talked about it
until they have read this book.''
He said by ensuring people knew that help was available, the
campaign could save lives.
The book had also had a major impact on his own family life,
''I knew a little bit about the whole depression thing,
because my father had suffered. I didn't actually know the
extent to which he suffered until I started this project.
''It's just all about education, really. I thought if people
read this book, they are going to be a bit more educated on
how this depression thing happens and how it works.''
He said he now hoped to get schools in both Oamaru and
Ashburton on board with the project, before finding a company
to help roll out the campaign across New Zealand.
''How it works is that I contact the schools and make sure
they are on board with the idea and have a plan in place to
use the books once they get them. Then I encourage the public
to donate the book down to me if they have read it and are
finished with it, or to go out and buy it, read it, then drop
it down to me. This way we are encouraging more people to
read the book before it even gets to the schools.''
Mr Vaughan said anyone interested in giving a copy of the
book could contact him at Mr Boats in Timaru or through the
All Blacks Don't Cry into Schools Facebook page.
Books would be collected from the Caltex north-end petrol
station in Oamaru and then distributed to interested schools,