Turning up the Talk on Mental Health
Three local mates are hoping to grow the conversation around mental health with the second season of their podcast, Turn Up the Talk. The ex-Waverley boys, Lochie Drew-Morris, Pat Clifton and Luca Moretti, started the podcast in October 2019 after observing several suicides by young people in the area.
The Black Dog Institute identifies suicide as the leading cause of death for people aged 15-44 years of age in Australia.
One of the podcast founders, Lochie Drew-Morris, said it started as a conversation between friends before they realised it was something they could take further.
“We kept hearing about them [suicides] and eventually we thought, ‘Yeah, maybe we really should do something about this’,” he told The Beast.
The podcast aims to help young people, in particular, to start conversations about their own mental health by inviting high profile guests to share their journeys with mental health on the podcast. The boys believe that listeners who hear their favourite sports stars or community figures discussing mental health will feel it’s a more acceptable topic to discuss with their friends and family.
Season one guests included Maryanne Larkin, the wife of the late Gavin Larkin, founder of RUOK, as well as TripleM host Gus Worland and former rugby league and union player Wendell Sailor. Season two guests include surfer and author Carmen Greentree.
“There’s a lot of awareness but a lack of education. We wanted to fill in the gaps of how you can help yourself and help others,” Mr Drew-Morris said.
The three founders also share their own personal journeys with mental health on the podcast, a task they felt was quite daunting.
“I was never fully comfortable with talking about my story, but we thought if we’re going to ask people to come on the podcast, we need to share our stories first,” Mr Clifton told The Beast.
However, they quickly found that sharing their stories on the podcast reaped rewards in real life.
“Then we had kids we coached in rugby coming up and saying they had listened, and we realised that these younger age groups benefit the most from the mental health conversation. It really can be a bit of a wake-up call,” said Mr Drew-Morris.
The team feels that they are uniquely primed to speak to a younger generation at this stage in their lives.
“We’re four years out of school, so we can say with experience, ‘We did these things, we know what it’s like to feel that way’,” Mr Drew-Morris added.
The local community has come out in support of the podcast, which will return for its second season in late August 2020. Season two sponsors include Doyle’s, The Clovelly Hotel and E-Lab training.
The trio is aiming to build on the podcast in future and are already training in mental health first-aid certificates and hoping to return to Waverley College to speak to the students later this year.
“We’re in a really unique spot; we’re a podcast first and then a not-for-profit, so we can make a name through the podcast then make it something bigger,” Mr Clifton told The Beast.
You can listen to Turn Up the Talk on your podcast app or visit www.turnupthetalk.com for more information.