David 'Kochie' Koch surprised Sunrise viewers on Monday after he sported bold red lipstick during an interview. He had some light-hearted banter with a makeup artist while it was being applied, telling her to “go overboard” and to “plaster it on”.
However, while he seemed to enjoy getting his lippy done, there was a sad reason behind his decision. The host was promoting the Lip-Stick It campaign, which aims to spread awareness about women’s mental health issues.
The fundraising initiative takes place on May 11, and it asks Aussie men to wear lipstick to ‘show they care’ about women in their lives.
Kochie interviewed the first Lip-Stick It ambassador Jett Kenny, son of former Olympian Lisa Curry and ironman champion Grant Kenny. The TV personality is deeply passionate about women’s mental health, after losing his sister Jaimi Kenny three years ago.
At the time, the family said that the 33-year-old had been struggling with an unnamed long-term illness, with Lisa later revealing Jaimi was diagnosed with a ‘chemical imbalance’ as a teenager.
He told the host why he was backing the campaign and urged other Aussies to get involved.
“For me personally, obviously this is quite close to home for myself and my family, Jaimi having struggled with mental health issues for a number of years, which led to a few underlying health issues as well,” he began.
“If all it takes is to put on some red lipstick and start a conversation, then it’s worth doing. It’s a big thing, not only for myself but for a lot of people.
“It could be happening to a person you work with, someone you know, but they you know — might not be talking about it because they don’t feel comfortable to do so,” he told Kochie.
“Less than half of the women experiencing mental health are seeking help,” he added. “Encouraging those people to just talk about it and having the strength that they might need to voice what they are going through.”
Addressing his sister’s mental health battle, he explained that he wanted to take away the stigma surrounding tough topics.
“I’ll never understand what she was going through, I’ll never understand what anyone else was going through because I won’t be in their shoes, I assume each case of mental health issues are specific to each individual, but the thing I want to encourage is if you are struggling with any sort to mental health issue is to just speak about it,” he said.
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