Blog Archives

A new passion – Watercolour Painting

Just a short few weeks ago I started painting watercolour pictures – I am very much learning but I am finding this very therapeutic, and helps to calm my anxiety.

Here are a few examples – to see more follow my Instagram account

All images ©Paul S Allen 2022

Support For Ukraine from Dunedin New Zealand

A rally was held in Dunedin New Zealand in support of Ukraine.
With Putin’s forces invading the Ukraine people are being injured and killed, this MUST stop.
Here are some photos from the rally today

First Tattoo – for remembrance ;

I had my first tattoo today
Huge thanks to @kesi.ink at Subconscious Studios. Kesi was fantastic, their care and work was so good for this newbie’s first tattoo. I love ❤️ it so much!

🌿🌻🌼🙏😊💜🎸🎼🎶;

I got this tattoo for many reasons. it is a reflection of the person I am comfortable being, the musician/guitarist/songwriter/poet/performer.
It also represents the battle I have had for mental health over the last few years especially over the last year. The semicolon represents that I am not finished and that life continues.
I dedicate this to all those who have struggled with mental health and to my friends who have passed away or are also currently battling with their mental health.
I particularly remember in this tattoo, the wonderful Dunedin NZ, musician, songwriter and wonderful human that was Nick Knox who passed away a year ago. (Arohanui Nick ❤️ )

These are difficult times and so many people are struggling so please be kind to all, especially to yourself. Reach out for help, and ask your friends if they are ok really listening to them.

Peace, love and good health to you all;
Noho ora mai rā

Paul Allen – Singer songwriter

New Zealand Support Contacts

  • 1737, free 24/7 phone and text number
  • Healthline: 0800 611-116
  • Lifeline Aotearoa: 0800 543-354
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828-865 
  • Samaritans: 0800 726-666
  • General mental health inquiries: 0800 443-366
  • The Depression Helpline: 0800 111-757

for NZ music industry people
Check out MusicHelps

For Dunedin people
Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust has a Crisis Café in the Hope Centre, 3 Albion Place, in Dunedin. The Hope Centre is a safe place for those in crisis during the Crisis Café hours of 1pm – late on Thursdays.
https://www.lifematters.org.nz/

New Year’s Eve – Arc Brewing co. – Dunedin, NZ

Music in the video: “Shine your light” and ” Stay” © Paul S Allen 2019 (me) Photography: Paul S Allen http://www.thewaterside.co.nz

A video of images from the NYE event held in Arc Brewing in Blueskin Bay Dunedin New Zealand
on 31 12 2021 to bring in 2022
I opened the evening with a set of my own so no photos of me =)

The acts for the event

Here are some of my images from the night.

Mental Health – my current journey

I am back at work now after having a few weeks on medical leave for anxiety and depression. I am working short weeks for a while and have made other arrangements to support my re-integration back to work.

Firstly, and just so you all know, I am receiving good medical care and medication is starting to kick in, and also I am receiving counselling and other support. Most importantly I am safe.

I still am battling through, which is not easy at times and is tiring, and certainly have my moments when I need to take a break.

Some of the people and things that are good and are helping me get through are, my very loving and supportive wife, some very good friends, music (writing, performing, and collaborating), and MusicHelps .
Anxiety has been great for writing songs and I have written 14 songs in the last 6 weeks, while depression makes me not want to even pick up my guitar. Anxiety and depression are a very strange combination.

Why am I being open?
As kiwis and as blokes (generalisation), we are terrible about seeking help and support when we need it.

I thought that as I have always been an advocate for people with mental illness that it is good for me to be up front and open that I am now one of the many people who also have a mental illness.

I have sought out help from my GP and a counsellor for what I am dealing with and it does help.
Hopefully this will encourage others to get help too.

So the important take away from what I am going through at the moment is this…

Do not be ashamed or embarrassed to seek help if you are struggling – use the 1737 help number if you need to, make use of the EAP services, counselling, or other support services that are available, talk to your close trusted friends, discuss it with your doctor.

Check out for your friends, ask them if they are OK and genuinely support them if they need it.

Know that you are not alone in the dark, and there is hope even if it doesn’t feel like it now (note: even as I write this I have to remind myself of this. )


New Zealand Support Contacts

  • 1737, free 24/7 phone and text number
  • Healthline: 0800 611-116
  • Lifeline Aotearoa: 0800 543-354
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828-865 
  • Samaritans: 0800 726-666
  • General mental health inquiries: 0800 443-366
  • The Depression Helpline: 0800 111-757

for NZ music industry people
Check out MusicHelps

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