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New Zealander of the Year Mike King implores Kiwis to be proactive around mental health – 'What can I do to help?'

Too much time is spent placing blame on the Government, organisations, everyone else - but Mike King wants New Zealanders to ask themselves "what can I do?" in the area of mental health.

The comedian turned mental health advocate was crowned New Zealander of the Year last night for his work.

King has struggled with mental health issues himself and now works to help young New Zealanders and others who're struggling with mental health issues.

"Our natural Kiwi reaction is to yell and go 'what is the Government going? What's everyone else doing?'" King told TVNZ1's Breakfast today.

"All that's changed is how I think about things," King said. "My question now every day when I look in the mirror is what can I do to help? What can I do?"

"Stop demanding everyone else to do something."

He implored Kiwis look in the mirror and ask - "What can I do to make it easier for my friends to come to me and say hey I'm struggling?"

People often did not know the damage of "witty comments" and "snide remarks" can do to loved ones, King said.

"Those attitudes really do have to change."

Eighty per cent of people had reoccurring suicidal thoughts but felt like they couldn't ask for help for fear of what people might think, he said.

"If we're being open and honest and we're looking in the mirror, we all have to say we're not doing enough.

"Our youth are not the problem, we're the problem," he told Breakfast. "Lets change our attitudes for our kids because our attitudes are killing our kids and I want it to stop."

In April, Mr King is running a project, Gumboot Friday, to raise $2 million for counselling for children.

King has been recognised for his work in the mental health area and today spoke to TVNZ1’s Breakfast. Source: Breakfast