The Bachelor NZ: Zac Franich's depression revelation commendable
New Zealand mental health professionals are applauding Bachelor Zac Franich for opening up about his struggle with depression.
Franich addressed his depression on Sunday night's episode of The Bachelor on a date with contestant Claudia Hoskins.
Lynne Holdem, a spokesperson for the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists, was impressed with Franich's honesty.
"Good to see that Zac, a young man who's been picked for his 'attractiveness' (and brand appeal for Three) who is confident enough to show that he has, like all of us, also had moments of self-doubt and emotional difficulties," said Holdem.
During a game of two truths and a lie with aspiring interior designer Hoskins, Franich admitted having sought the help of a therapist during a rough patch in 2015.
"It was not a good time. I was really lost and I just went lower and lower and found myself at the bottom of a great big hole and into a bit of depression," he said.
Holdem hoped Franich's honesty and strength would be an example to other young men struggling with mental illness.
"Zac owning up to feeling lost, low and depressed and needing to talk to a therapist will hopefully, provide a model to other young men that they don't have to hide their feelings,"
"And that reaching out to a good friend, or a therapist, is a courageous act of embracing change rather than a sign, as some fear, of weakness," said Holdem.
Hoskins reaction was also something that impressed Holdem.
She seemed to really listen to him and her question "How did you find a way out of it?" is such a good question for someone who is remembering a difficult patch in their life because it draws their attention to their resilience," said Holdem.
Shaun Robinson, director of the Mental Health Foundation, was also impressed with the pair.
"It's fantastic that Zac was able to be very open about his experiences of mental illness and also really great that Claudia, his date, modelled being really supportive to someone in that situation," said Robinson.
Last month, comedian Jono Pryor broke down live on air as he talked about mental illness on the Jono and Ben Show.
The raw and emotional moment caught the attention of the nation after the light-hearted comic became upset.
"I just wanna say one thing, I just wanna say that what I've learnt this week, if you are suffering a mental illness, no one thinks less of you for not talking, for sharing your thoughts," Pryor said, through tears.
"No one thinks less of you for taking medicine and no one thinks less of you for dealing with a mental illness."
WHERE TO GET HELP
Lifeline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 354
Depression Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 111 757
Healthline (open 24/7) - 0800 611 116
Samaritans (open 24/7) - 0800 726 666
Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
Youthline (open 24/7) - 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
0800 WHATSUP children's helpline - 0800 9428 787, Open between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at www.whatsup.co.nz.
Kidsline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy, who are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.
Your local Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)
Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.
For more information, contact the Mental Health Foundation's free Resource and Information Service on 09 623 4812.