Mike King gave Kaitaia College students a good deal to think about, but the passionate mental health advocate, once known only as a stand-up comic, had them laughing too.
Mental health and suicide awareness campaigner Mr King found two very receptive audiences when he addressed junior and senior assemblies at the college.
Tahlia Betheras said King's presentation was effective and enjoyable, while Te Oranoa Matthews found him insightful: "He had some fantastic solutions. His talk was targeted at those supporting people with mental illness; his advice was to do nothing but let them be them unconditionally."
Mr King's visit concluded with a public evening session Community Korero, run in conjunction with the Cool to Korero school programme.
"Where the school talk empowers young people to find solutions for their problems, and makes it OK to talk, the Community Korero recognises the need for adults to listen," Mr King said.
"After all, there is no point in getting our youth to open up if nobody is listening."
The problems he addressed ranged from bullying and peer pressure to drugs and alcohol, sexual abuse, divorce, sexuality and disconnections at home and school, the goal being to build a more united community where everyone felt more connected, less isolated and alone, where young people were less afraid to ask for help, that had more empathy for those who might be having problems, was more willing to assist, and where young people recognised adult concern for their welfare.
Northland's suicide figures are at their highest level ever - following a national trend the chief coroner has called "stubbornly high".
There were 36 deaths by suicide confirmed in Northland in the 12 months from July 2016 to June 2017, according to provisional figures made available last week by Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall.
Where to get help:
■ Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
■ Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
■ Youthline: 0800 376 633
■ Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
■ Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (Mon-Fri 1pm to 10pm. Sat-Sun 3pm-10pm)
■ Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
■ Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
■ Samaritans 0800 726 666
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111