'I was crying all the time' - Max Key opens up about mental health and suicide

Former Prime Minister Sir John Key's son Max has emotionally spoken out about online bullying, mental health and suicide.

The electronic musician spoke with The AM Show as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week on Friday following the release of his new track 'Live My Life'.

He says it’s his most honest song yet.

"It's a true reflection of where my headspace is at."

'Live My Life' talks of a teen boy who once took his life for granted, and is now ready to “grab it by the horns."

"To me it was a song to give out a positive message and inspire people to live their best life."

Key worked with an American graphics designer called Max Novak, who helped put the music video together. He says music gives him purpose.

"I love music through and through, it makes me happy, it’s my escape."

He starts off the summer-tune with a minute monologue, opening up about his life, and his mental health.

"I never thanked the people in my life… I've always been gracious and thankful for my followers on social media but I've never actually thanked the people that have actually impacted my life," he says.

And after opening up earlier this year with a message for people that are in need - you are not alone.

In 2011 he lost a friend to suicide and it was something that he says really hit home.

"Nothing is unfixable. As hard as it may seem at the time, you can always sort stuff out," says Max.

"Death is very permanent. I know that sounds quite obvious, but, like, you can fix other things but if you do that, it's done.

"People don't realise how loved they were. You know, like, the reason they're often doing it is because they feel like they're alone. If only they could see how not alone [they were], it's so sad."

Max reckons open communication is crucial and the some negative stigmas associated with seeking help need to be removed.

"Don't ever be afraid to speak out. I think, especially with men in New Zealand, there's this thing about it being not cool or not manly to be emotional," he says.

"I don't think there's anything wrong at all with being emotional. I've cried heaps. I talk out to my friends all the time, if I'm having a shit day."

Max was in school when he lost someone to suicide and says it had a huge effect on everyone in his year group.

"I was crying all the time. It was terrible... you're always asking that question, like, 'Why?'" he says.

"Always look after your friends, just reach out to people. Because, you know, that text could save their life."