Two Kiwi blokes using their own experiences to help others with depression

Two Kiwi guys who are open about their own struggles with depression, have created their own online tools to help people to get better.

"There was a sense of hopelessness," Mike says of the deepest pits of his depression.

"It was interesting 'cause on the outside you could have said I had it made because I had a beautiful wife and healthy kids, and our own property, but on the inside I just felt super crashed."

Jack too experienced the mental isolation depression can bring.

"I felt very alone, like I was the only person who knew this feeling," he says.

"It was like all the colour had drained out the world and it was as though the world was black and white. All the things I used to enjoy stopped being fun."

But both found their ways to calmer waters, and are on a mission to share what's worked for them.

"What happened when I hit that bottom, I found myself all alone I realised that no one could hurt me as much as my own mind could, and if I could get control of that again I could get myself out of this place," Jack says.

Mark launched an app, Thinkladder, based on the therapy that has worked for him and others struggling.

"That's what the app enables people to do, it enables them to trace symptoms, like work based stress and trace that symptom to an unhelpful belief that would be potentially fuelling that symptom," he says.

"And then the hard work begins really and you have to try and rewire the brain from that unhelpful belief to a more empowering belief."

Written by his wife Katie, a counsellor, with other mental health professionals, it's getting traction around the world.

Jack's approach was more step-by-step.

He's written an e-book, a kind of guidebook for people who just need some options.

"There's some colourful language in this book, a lot of f-bombs are dropped. My parents don't like that by the way," he says.

Both the book and the app launched during mental health week.

The book had a couple of thousand downloads in a few days, and the app went straight to number one in New Zealand.

Where can I get support and help?

Below is a list of some of the services available which offer support, information and help.

Lifeline 24/7 – 0800 543 354

Kidsline (aimed at children up to 18 years of age, available 24/7) – 0800 54 37 54

Depression Helpline 24/7 - 0800 111 757

Healthline - 0800 611 116

Samaritans - 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 / (04) 473 9739 (for callers from all other regions)

Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email

What's Up (for 5-18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pm) - 0800 942 8787 - includes The Journal online help service - visit the website, email or free text 5626 (emails and text messages will be responded to between 12 noon and 12 midnight).

The pair have created online tools to help people take steps to get better. Source: Seven Sharp