Sir John Kirwan

Co-founder, Mentemia, NZ mental health advocate and ex All Black

Humbled and honoured – they’re two words Sir John Kirwan (known to most as JK) often uses to describe how he feels about his contribution to a campaign to raise awareness about depression, but they’re also the same words he uses to describe his knighthood.  The former All Black and 1987 Rugby World Cup winner became a “Sir” in 2012, joining a list that includes other well-known former All Blacks.  However, unlike his fellow All Blacks, Kirwan was recognised as much, if not more, for his contribution outside of rugby; for services to Mental Health, having been for several years at the forefront of the campaign to heighten public awareness of depression, an illness he has suffered from himself. JK’s willingness to share his mental wellbeing story from surviving to thriving has gone a long way to removing the stigma that surrounds mental health here in New Zealand. This energy and commitment to share his story has led him to create the mental wellbeing app Mentemia.  


Takes part in

  • Future of Work WebinarView Full Event
  • 13:05 - 13:30

    Keynote - Providing workplace mental health programmes to remove the stigma and normalise wellbeing conversations

    By Sir John Kirwan Co-founder, Mentemia, NZ mental health advocate and ex All Black

    As we enter into the flexible post-pandemic workplace, many companies are actively seeking mental health and wellness options to add to their employee benefits. What kinds of mental health and wellness tools add value? How can we improve the human connections?

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