Shit You Should Care About... Our new segment... "Shit Chat"

Despite this segment being called “Shit Chat,” in fact, it is anything but.  

Here at SYSCA, we want to counter the endless amounts of shit chat plaguing the planet and cut to the good shit.

To do this, we're picking the inner corners of the brains of some cool people doing cool shit, and there sure are plenty of them.

And with that, let us introduce our first Shit Chatter, Hannah Morgan.

A Shit Chat with Hannah Morgan (Swim Strait 4 Life)

After losing a friend in 2017 to mental health issues, Hannah is jumping in the deep end and swimming 30km across the Foveaux Strait (a swim that only eight people have ever completed), all to promote mental health awareness in New Zealand. We all know that mental health is a huge issue in our country, but it takes real guts and motivation to get out there and truly do something about it. That's what Hannah is doing.

As I'm writing this piece, Hannah has raised almost $10,000 - and counting - for both the Otago University Students' Association and the Mental Health Foundation, and I highly encourage you to show your support here. And you're going to want to when you hear about the swim.

The Swim:

  • When? 12th of Feb 2019

  • How long will it take? Between eight and a half and 10 hours

  • How cold will it be? The strait should be about 13-15 degrees

  • What will she be wearing? She won't be wearing a wetsuit, to ensure optimal swimming...

    • BUT she will be coated in a mixture of wool fat, vaseline and zinc before she puts on a swim suit

But before I spill too much, I'll let you hear from the woman herself, as you read below our shit chat with Hannah...

SYSCA: What shit do you care about right now?

Hannah: I literally care about everything - climate change, equality (across the board), politics, and everything else under the sun. But I’ve chosen to focus my time and effort into the one thing that is critical - mental health. Literally everything we do, every job, every task and every decision made is for the benefit of PEOPLE, but we’ve somehow gotten lost and forgotten that despite all of these good intentions in our politics and our economy, we aren’t looking after our core beings… and that is a huge fault.  We wait until people are struggling and dealing with mental illness rather than acting to PREVENT these struggles and illnesses from occurring.

This journey that I’m on has been a huge learning curve and admittedly has been the toughest period of my life… However, literally every day someone new inspires me to push harder and fight stronger for a healthier and happier NZ.

Her legacy and bravery is something I think about every day when I’m training, especially when I’m struggling physically or mentally to get through what’s been put in front of me. 

New Zealand has so much potential. But, the way we are approaching mental health at the moment is not working. This potential needs to be met with resources, and SSFL is really trying to push this notion that there are small things that we can do that will reduce the negative stigma that surrounds mental health and well-being and allow people to change their mental state before it becomes a serious issue. EVERYONE has to deal with bad days, it’s simply the tools of coping mechanisms that seperate those who can change their perspective, and those who can’t (NOTE: there are some exceptions to this generalisation)

In particular, one of our friends at Uni struggled with her mental health - she was incredibly brave and open about what she was dealing with, but sadly she’s no longer with us. Her legacy and bravery is something I think about every day when I’m training, especially when I’m struggling physically or mentally to get through what’s been put in front of me. 

SYSCA: If you could nominate one person from your Instagram feed to replace Trump, who would it be and why? 

Ellen for Prez 2020

Ellen for Prez 2020

Ellen. I just love her. She brings me nothing but pure happiness. She’s the absolute best.

SYSCA: What’s the point of what you’re doing, what legacy do you want to leave on the world?

Hannah: I want New Zealanders (and the rest of the world) to thrive. In this new technological and progressive world we've lost sight of what is truly important, and that is simply, our happiness. Our priorities have been put into different places, and because every job in this world is set to help other people live a more accomplished and supplemented life, we have forgotten to attend to ourselves, particularly our well-being. There is nothing more important that a human’s well-being, because no matter where you are, or who you are surrounded by, the person that will ALWAYS be talking to you is you - we must nurture our minds and inner voice, because it’s the only guaranteed constant we will have in our lives. 

We can’t thrive if we hit a downward slope and get into dark and scary places. I want our society and communities to understand that bad things will happen regardless of our efforts to prevent them, but what happens next is completely determined by perspective. I want people to know that despite the negativity in this world there are still SO MANY places of light and hope. There are so many people who care and want to make each and every individual’s well-being the primary priority of our health system… And that’s the way it should be… Physical health isn’t the end of it, our mental health is equally as important and should be rightly treated so. 

We each deserve to live a fulfilled life of happiness and joy - something which comes as a result of positive well-being and mental health.  


SYSCA: Fuck marry kill? The Office: Michael, Dwight, Jim. 

Hannah: Fuck Michael, marry Jim, kill Dwight.

SYSCA: The world is a pretty dark place right now, since superheroes don’t exist what do you think is going to save the world?

Hannah: Superheroes do exist!! They just don’t have fictional super powers!!! Instead, our superheroes are everyday people with courage and a true belief that we can make a change. The Avengers work best in numbers, and so do we. One person can make a change, but a collective of people with the courage to speak out and stand up for what they believe in will be our biggest strength. 

The SSFL campaign has humbled me into realising just how passionate our communities are about making meaningful change. The support has been something I could never have dreamed of. It’s just unreal how much people care. 

Hannah is a bloody inspiration to us all, and we cannot wish her enough luck for her big swim. You can keep up to date with her here and here, and we encourage you to donate what you can to such an amazing cause here.

And that's been our first instalment of Shit Chat. Stay tuned to hear us chat some more shit with some more cool dudes soon.