Teammates back 'Shortland Street' star for leaving 'Celebrity Treasure Island'

Karl Burnett has left Celebrity Treasure Island to look after his mental health.

It was a rough start for the actor, best known as Nick from Shortland Street, who didn't make any secrets about missing his four-month-old son.

In last night's episode, he told his fellow Kahu teammates he had to leave the team, and the show, to focus on his mental health.

"I'm just not coping mentally, so I need to look after myself," he said.

Burnett had a rocky start on the show, with his team forgetting about him and leaving him tied up, as well as a standoff with weatherman Sam Wallace over sleeping arrangements.

He's found it hard to be away from his home and the family and, despite being instrumental to his team's win at the second face-off challenge, Burnett has decided he needs to go home.

"[I've] suffered depression and anxiety for a very long time and been good for the last few years, but this has taken me completely out of my comfort zone, had a wee bit of a meltdown last night and this morning, I'm not that sure that I can stick around," he said.

"To give you an idea of what my safe space is, I'm usually at home either playing video games or programming computers you know, and I've also got a four-month-old son at home and I'm really missing him."

The team said they were fully supportive of his decision.

An emotional Jodie Rimmer said she feels "proud of Karl for looking after himself and making the right call".

"There's no weakness in that."

Host Matt Chisholm also told Burnett "the old noggin' is really important".

"I think it's really courageous and admirable of you to put your hand up and say you're not okay," Chisholm said.

Viewers applauded Burnett's courage and the way his exit was handled.

The actor urged anyone in his position to seek help: "If you're feeling depressed, tell someone."


If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.


This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.