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John Kirwan’s journal fights depression

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Associate Minister of Health
18 August 2011

John Kirwan’s journal fights depression

Figures released today show that almost 18,000 New Zealanders experiencing depression have registered to use The Journal – a user friendly online tool aimed at managing mild to moderate depression.

The Journal is fronted by former All Black John Kirwan who acts as an online personal coach to help people through a six-week programme. Launched in June 2010, it teaches techniques people can easily use in everyday life to help their own depression from social and physical activities to eating and sleeping well.

Dr Jonathan Coleman, Associate Health Minister, says of those who have registered, more than 10,000 are actively using it. Users are reporting decreased symptoms of depression as they proceed through the online modules.

’’The online Journal has made it easier for New Zealanders to come forward and seek help when previously they may not have asked for it,’’ says Dr Coleman.

Dr Lyndy Matthews, from The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and consultant to the National Depression Initiative programme, believes the next step is for GPs to ‘prescribe’ and The Journal as a way of treating depression.

’’If people are able to use a programme such as The Journal, it shows that although an individual may be suffering moderate depression, the techniques used in The Journal are practical, manageable and effective," says Dr Matthews.

The Journal is available at


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