'Mental health is no joke': Max Key chokes back tears in emotional vlog

Max Key, son of former Prime Minister Sir John, has taken to his YouTube channel with an emotional message on mental health and suicide.

The aspiring DJ and internet personality aimed to "raise awareness" on the issue after a report showing alarmingly high suicide statistics for New Zealand was published.

"Suicide and mental health is no joke," he told his subscribers.

Key said the figures showing 668 Kiwi deaths by suspected suicide over the last year were "painful to read". There was a particularly high number of fatalities in the 20 -24 age bracket.

"In 2011, one of my very close friends killed himself," Key says in the video.

"Honestly, that f**ked me up. Probably for six months, I was crying every single day.

"Even now, talking about it chokes me up," he added, editing in a break in the video to collect himself before resuming.

The 23-year-old put particular emphasis on the negative impact of social media on "the younger generation", calling it "a highlight reel".

"People - myself included - we only post the good bits," he said.

"We're not posting when we wake up with shit hair, we're not posting when we've had a bad day, when bad times or sadness are occurring to us.

"The way I try and live my life is: if a meteor was to hit the internet tomorrow, and none of this shit existed, what would you have to show for yourself?"

Key also touched on the idea of toxic masculinity in New Zealand.

"As a guy... there's nothing wrong with having feelings," he said.

"There has been so much in my life that's made me cry. I've come home and just broken down in front of my mum."

Key rounded out the video by asking his followers to contact him directly through Instagram if they felt they had no one to talk to.

The vlogger split from his girlfriend Renee Brown last month. At the time, he told Instagram followers he was taking "time to work on myself" and reiterated his plan to run for Prime Minister in 2044.

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