In a revelation that has moved many New Zealanders, Survivor NZ host and TV reporter Matt Chisholm has shared on Twitter that he is seeking professional help for his mental health. He paid tribute to his late friend, Greg Boyed, who died suddenly in August, for encouraging him to seek support. Greg had suffered from depression.
"I'm buggered. My head hurts. It's not working as well as it was. I'm not smiling much. Laughing even less," Matt revealed in his tweet.
"I promised Greg, my old workmate, before he died from depression, I'd go see the doc. It's taken me months, cos of, life, but Greg me ol' mate, today, I took that first step."
"We don't know each other but I'm proud that you've owned your health and here's hoping it comes together for you," replied one person.
"The number of people who've reached out to you Matt says everything. They're all only a phone call away. Stay strong, you're well loved," replied TVNZ political reporter Barry Soper.
"Go well, Matt. Rest up and be kind to yourself," former broadcaster Rachel Smalley responded.
Matt and his wife Ellen have two young children. Their eldest Bede, is two, and Ellen gave birth to their second child, Finn, in April this year.
The likeable TV personality, who has hosted Survivor NZ and worked as a reporter for Fair Go, Close Up and Seven Sharp, touched the hearts of many with his sensitive and insightful stories about his brother, Nick. Nick had a stroke at the age of 27 that left him with locked-in syndrome.
Matt told Paul Little in a story for the NZ Herald, "We were both playing rugby in different parts of New Zealand. I had a banking job in Southland, and he was in Dunedin. He had a stroke during a game, then a series of strokes that culminated in a massive brain-stem stroke. We just thought he'd been knocked out and was concussed...
"He was in a coma that lasted a couple of weeks. It was horrific. He was on life support and we thought he was going to die."
Nick moved to Dunedin to be near Matt, then later moved in with his brother - his favourite person in the world - when Nick got out of hospital two years later.
He told Little: "He was pretty unhappy for the first year or two, along the lines of "I can't live like this", which everyone could understand. We had some good moments and some pretty rough ones and sometimes he wasn't sure he wanted to keep going.
"But one day he woke up and decided: 'If it's going to be, it's up to me.' He kicked into living the best life he could."
Matt has also spoken publicly about battling alcoholism. He celebrated being seven years sober last December and told Woman's Day, "I knew I was done and would never, ever look back.
"I'm really lucky. Some people never figure it out and booze to their deaths. I didn't ruin a marriage, I didn't lose my job and I didn't get behind the wheel drunk and kill someone. I just made a decision my life was better off without alcohol."
Matt had started drinking at 14 to fit in with the older boys he played rugby with at the time, but found that, like his father, "it was either none or 100".
"When it came to getting on the piss, I had my dad's DNA."
After several failed efforts to get sober, Matt stopped drinking for good at the age of 34, "I just made a decision my life was better off without alcohol."
"Alcohol is alright for the majority of people, but it doesn't work for me," he told Woman's Day. "Look around, my life is so good."
We wish him all the best in his quest to getting the support he needs.
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