More than 2300 tickets have been issued for events up and down the country in 2022, with more events planned for next year.
Speaking last month at a well-attended event in Ashburton, Matt said he first realised he was depressed decades ago - after picking up a pamphlet in a doctor’s office while being treated for an STD.
“There were about sixteen boxes - if you have these symptoms, you may be depressed - and I ticked every box,” he said.
“Despite that, I was actually more willing to talk to my doctor about my STD, than about my mental health.”
Matt is an entertaining speaker, with his down-to-earth sense of humour keeping the rural mid-Canterbury crowd smiling - but there are also sombre moments, when he talks about the harsh lessons he has learned.
He’s open about the fact he has struggled with alcohol and drugs, although he has now been sober for 11 years.
Matt spoke of the pressure he felt, growing up, to live up to the ‘Southern Man’ stereotype - the kind of man who never admits to having feelings beyond a deep love for his local rugby team.
That pressure pushed him to drink to excess, and “do stupid things” - with his alcohol abuse leading to a deep sense of self-loathing, and depression.
After realising his childhood dream of getting into TV journalism, and sticking with it for more than a decade, his mental health deteriorated, and work became yet another overwhelming addiction.
“I stopped sleeping and started waking up with huge headaches - I started getting angry at work, even with nice people,” Matt said.
“I had trouble with the basics, I started thinking that my colleagues were stitching me up - I was going mad.
“Useless at home, I’d just sit there angry and wonder why I wasn’t as capable with the kids as my wife - I was trying to be a great dad, and broadcaster, but I was breaking.
“I hated work and I didn’t like being at home, and I’d created a life which didn’t see me be anywhere else."