WARNING: This article deals with depression and mental health and may be upsetting.

The death of television journalist Greg Boyed has sent shockwaves through the country as those closest to him and even those who didn't know him grapple with the devastating news.

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Shaun Robinson warned that Boyed's death would impact others who suffer depression and said it was a stark reminder to check in with friends and family who were vulnerable to mental health issues.

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Tributes flow following the death of TVNZ news presenter Greg Boyed

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"Greg's death really puts a very human face on what is a big issue that our whole community is addressing.

"I look at Greg and he's a face that I knew, and just talking about it now I get tight in the chest and feel a bit upset because it also makes me remember the times when I've been in those really difficult places."

As someone who lives with bipolar disorder and who previously tried to commit suicide, Robinson said he has periods of depression himself but has learnt to manage it.

Others may be triggered by Boyed's death, he said.

"Anybody who is a public figure or a celebrity who is suspected to take their own life, it tends to get a lot of specific media attention so that in itself raises a lot of issues for people."

Robinson said as a community we need to recognise that Boyed's death was a loss and people were entitled to feel sadness, and be supported in that.

"Greg Boyed was a very likeable personality in the media and often with any sort of public figure, people who see them in some way as a role model or somebody they felt connected to, even if they'd never met them personally it can feel like a real grief or a real loss."

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Shaun Robinson says television journalist Greg Boyed's death would impact people who didn't know him. Photo / Supplied
Mental Health Foundation chief executive Shaun Robinson says television journalist Greg Boyed's death would impact people who didn't know him. Photo / Supplied

He said it would also put a spotlight on mental health and again raise questions around what was helpful for sufferers.

That included paying close attention to vulnerable friends and family by being there or keeping in contact, and listening without judging or trying to provide a solution.

"Keeping up that human contact, letting them know that you care. Really just letting people know they're not alone."

Though Boyed's death was a tragedy, Robinson said it might encourage people worried about someone to have the courage to ask them if they're okay, or prompt others to seek help.

"It really raises the issue of the community is the first line of support. It's usually our friends and our family who are the people we reach out to when we're struggling."

Friends, colleagues and NZ media members have paid tribute to the late broadcaster Greg Boyed on social media.

He said there was no simple way to make sense of such a sudden death other than that times of mental distress are part of life and should be destigmatised.

"We are in the midst of a mental health inquiry and I think the public's very aware that there's some real challenges in building an adequate response to mental health problems and building up the resilience and positive mental health of our community."

Robinson said there was always room for hope around mental health.

"It's totally possible to have a flourishing and rewarding life regardless of having gone through or continuing to have to manage things like depression. Recovery is totally possible."

A combination of lifestyle and clinical support meant it was still possible to have a very good, positive life.

"It's really important to be hopeful. Just as this is a tragedy there are many stories of hope and recovery."

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 (1pm to 11pm)

Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.