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Written by Douglas Golightly
on September 25, 2020

Most people have a plan to help them day to day - a business plan, a fitness plan, a financial plan or even a dietary plan. So what about a mental plan?

Sadly mental plans aren’t at the top of everyone’s list of priorities.
That’s why John Kirwan - the iconic All Black - decided to develop and implement a plan that “we” can relate to. That plan has been implemented in the
Mentemia app which is regarded as “cutting edge” when it comes to mental health.

Mentemia fonder John KirwanThe plan comes from the battles Kirwan fought when he was struggling.
“I wanted to share the things that had helped me in the tough times. I was unwell, very unwell and I had to reach out for help.”

“There are tools and techniques you can use to help you.”
The app, which Kirwan co-founded with his friend and tech guru Adam Clark in 2018, came about because of a lack of tangible and straightforward ways to help.
Ironically the implementation of the app was initiated because Kirwan felt like he’d failed given the increase in New Zealand’s suicide rate. He’d been part of an earlier government funded initiative looking at mental health but the development of significant technology to complement the plans had not eventuated.

“Technology is part of the problem but it’s also part of the solution. We looked at the positives of utilising technology to ensure we could offer the techniques that had helped me over the years. “There was definitely a need to do this and with Adam we set about developing the app so that anyone can get the daily help they need.
“I explained my dream and we’ve done our best to implement it,” he explained.
That’s brilliantly outlined in the
Mentemia mission statement:
“Rather than being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff -
Mentemia is packed with evidence-based ideas and tools to help you learn how to be well, and stay well. It helps you deal with the most common stressors we experience in the modern connected world today - poor sleep, anxiety and stress. These stressors, if left unattended, can significantly impact your quality of life at home and work."

“With Mentemia, you’ll discover what things can help you feel more energised, more productive, and better equipped for whatever the world throws at you today.”
It’s even more important in these uncertain Covid-19 times that “we have ways to cope” the inspirational Kirwan says.
“We’re wearing anxiety like a badge of honour and it’s killing us so we have to understand ourselves. We’re all going to have bad days - that's reality - but we need the tools and techniques to go from surviving to thriving.”

  • The Mentemia app is available on the App Storeor Google Play.
  • John Kirwan(All Black #854) played 96 times for the men in black including 63 tests. He scored 67 tries with 35 of those in test matches. He is regarded as one of the All Blacks greatest wingers alongside the likes of Ron Jarden, Sir Bryan Williams, Stu Wilson, Jonah Lomu and Jeff Wilson.
  • In 2012 he was knighted for his work and services in the field of mental health.

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