Radio presenter Michael ‘Wippa’ Wipfli got emotional live on-air on Thursday morning when talking about R U OK? Day.
The Fitzy & Wippa host told listeners he would be putting “the laughs on hold” so he and his co-hosts could have a very open conversation about mental health.
“It's a hard topic to talk about,” he began. “It’s very confronting and jarring and we might need to let you know this topic can also cause some distress because we've never really covered it on the show like this before.”
Wippa went on to discuss the current ‘mental illness crisis’ and the devastating effects that lockdowns have had over the past two years.
“Just in the last month Lifeline had its four busiest days of service in 57 years. 3505 calls in one single day,” he detailed. “And that was last month, so what does this month bring.”
The 41-year-old started to get choked up when retelling specific mental health struggles that he read about online, including stories from parents, teachers and healthcare workers.
“I've had some personal experiences, both for myself needing to seek help at times, but also mates that have needed to,” he added.
“Sometimes for people out there, it just feels impossible. It’s impossible to get out of bed, it’s impossible to talk to anybody, it's impossible to find a reason for being there, and it's a very very scary place to go and it’s the darkest place on the planet.
“But we just need to reinforce, for anybody that's going through that, that there is care here for you. People want to be here for you.”
In the hopes of helping others, the Celebrity Apprentice star described his personal struggles and shared how he gets himself out of his own dark place.
“I can see it coming in more detail these days, I just notice patterns within myself if I'm starting to get caught on thoughts, or I can't clear my mind as easy,” he said.
“Other times it just starts to spiral, but I see it, I watch it, and I’ll drop all alcohol, I'll make sure I exercise as much as I can, which is one of the toughest things to do in that situation.”
Co-host Ryan ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald also weighed in, adding: “Talking is the biggest thing.
“I've got a couple of really close contact mates now that are having problems with alcohol and having thoughts… We don’t talk about this, we never have.
“But you know what? We now say we love each other every time we talk to each other on the phone. Whenever we see each other we hug each other now.
“The biggest thing out of all of that [is] to show your kids that you can do that as a man.”
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