COMEDY and puns will be put on hold as a pair of Border morning radio hosts tackle mental health and youth suicide.
On Monday Star FM duo Heath and Normy will join the fight for a headspace centre in Albury-Wodonga.
From 8am they will air a one-hour segment dedicated to mental health issues on the Border.
It’s a big change of pace from the comical shows the pair typically present but their passion stems from personal experience.
“I had a very happy childhood but I grew up with a lot of friends who didn’t,” Lucas “Normy” Dorrell said.
“I always thought not only about how lucky I was but that if there was one thing so important to a young person, it was having someone to lean on, a happy place to go to.”
Heath Piper said the Sydney suburb they grew up in carried the stigma of youth suicides, particularly when teenagers reached HSC.
“That’s why we’re on board with this because it’s something we believe in,” Normy said, confirming their show had a zero tolerance for bullying.
Heath said every year a handful of young people contact them directly, talking of being bullied.
“It’s sad in a way that they’re contacting the local radio station because that’s how desperate they are,” Heath said.
But the duo hope headspace could be the place where the young can find professional help.
“This is the first time we’ve done something like this so it’s a big thing for us as well … in terms of dedicating an hour in our breakfast show, it will be something new for our listeners,” Normy said.
The hour show will involve conversations with those affected by mental illness and suicide, including Teena Conway, who lost her son Zac, and Laura Koehler, who lost her sister Aimee.
Listeners will also hear from Albury mayor Alice Glachan, her Wodonga counterpart Mark Byatt, North East Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services manager Lisa Gundish and Border Mail representatives.
Every staff member from Star FM has supported the fight for a headspace centre by signing butterflies, that are now hanging in their Swift Street office.
Breakfast radio duo “Normy” Dorrell and Heath Piper are part of the Star FM team joining the fight for a headspace centre. Picture: DAVID THORPE
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