Author(s): John Kirwan
'I'm a dad and I'm scared.' Charting John Kirwan's experiences as a father, and incorporating voices of young people today, Stand By Me examines issues around teenage mental health, with a focus on depression and anxiety. It is intended as a useful guide for parents, caregivers and teachers - anyone concerned about the wellbeing of young people in their care. Like All Blacks Don't Cry, it has an emphasis on hopefulness and living positively. Stand By Me is JK's second collaboration with writer Margie Thomson, and draws on the expertise of Dr Elliot Bell and Kirsty Louden-Bell, clinical psychologists from the Otago Medical School. JK confronts an array of questions about parenting and his own children, and looks at case studies of teenagers who have been diagnosed with mental health issues including anxiety and depression. In their own words, the young people interviewed reflect on their treatment and progress, and consider how these experiences have shaped them as they face forward into their adult lives.
Sir John Kirwan, one of the most devastating wingers that world rugby has ever seen, was an All Black from 1984 to 1994, playing 63 tests. Following his playing career, JK went on to coach the Italian and Japanese national rugby teams, and is now the Head Coach of the Auckland-based Super Rugby franchise the Blues. JK has also become an advocate for depression awareness in New Zealand, fronting a high-profile TV campaign and authoring the bestselling memoir All Blacks Don't Cry in 2010. In 2012, he was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to mental health and rugby. JK is a dedicated husband and father of three teenagers. Dr Elliot Bell is a registered clinical psychologist. He trained at Victoria University of Wellington, and has worked clinically in private practice and in local District Health Board mental health services. He currently works as a lecturer and researcher at the University of Otago's School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Wellington, and has a private practice in central Wellington where he sees clients. Elliot is active in the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists, currently serving as Vice President. His professional interests include cognitive behavioural treatments of depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia; positive psychology; and psychological measurement. Kirsty Louden-Bell is also a registered clinical psychologist and graduated from Victoria University of Wellington in 1995. She has worked in a range of mental health settings, in the public sector, as well as in private practice, and has experience in training and presenting, both nationally and internationally. She has a passion for youth and youth work, and since 2001 has been involved as both a clinician and manager of a nationwide programme aimed at identifying and managing risk in young people at risk of suicide. Elliot and Kirsty live in Wellington and have two sons and a daughter.