Mr Michael Hempseed

NZDA Sheild Images 2022 Michael Hempseed

Depression, Grief & Suicide Prevention

Every year in New Zealand at least six times as many people die by suicide as die in workplace accidents, at least half the people who die by suicide are in active employment. Employers must take proactive steps to prevent suicide from occurring in their workplace.

  • Understand the latest research around suicide prevention, such as risk groups, trends and people who may be vulnerable
  • Find out why there is a strong link between poor sleep, grief and suicide.
  • Know how to approach someone who is suicidal and find clear pathways to refer them for help.
  • What to do if a suicide has happened in the workplace.
  • What are some of the most effective things employers can do to dramatically reduce the chances of a suicide in their community?

Understanding Autism

More and more New Zealanders are being diagnosed with Autism. Almost everyone with autism has sensory issues where they find loud sounds and bright lights a significant challenge. In this evidence based talk you will learn about some of the key bahaviours and challenges associated with autism.

  • We will look how ways that people who have autism may struggle with getting dental treatment and a number of strategies to overcome this.

Understanding Eating Disorders and Mental Illness in Children

More and more young children are developing serious mental illness, often a visit to the dentist can exacerbate this, it is important that all dental staff understand this and know how to respond.

  • What happens to the brain and body when someone experiences anxiety?
  • How do anxious people react when things are put into their mouth?
  • Why do anxious children complain of tummy upsets?
  • Why do anxious children often display aggressive and sometimes even violent behaviour?
  • What is anorexia and what are some key warning signs dentists may be able to detect?

Millennials and Younger Employees in the Workforce

A growing number of employers are having significant challenges when they employ younger workers (under 30s).

  • In this interesting and practical talk, we will look at why there can be a “generation gap,”
  • The science behind the adolescent brain and a large number of practical tools to overcome and work through many of the challenges employers have.
  • What are some of the latest neuroscience findings about the changes that occur when the adolescent brain undergoes a redevelopment before the age of 30

Building Resilience and Overcoming Failure

Today when many people experience setbacks or they fail they beat themselves up over it. In this funny and insightful talk you will learn how to build your resilience to face many of the challenges that life can throw at us.

  • What are some of the key ways resilient and non resilient people face challenges?
  • What can we learn from people who have gone from low to high resilience?
  • What are some modern ideas that are supposed to build resilience that actually make it worse?
  • What do we know about people who show post traumatic growth?


Michael Hempseed is the author of Being A True Hero: Understanding and Preventing Suicide in Your Community. The book is being used by the New Zealand Police, Fire and Emergency NZ, GPs, Counsellors as well as many parents and teachers.

He has trained everyone from army medics to zoo keepers. Michael gained an honours degree in Psychology from the University of Canterbury in 2008. In 2016 he spoke at TEDx.