As you would have seen on cupcakes and group email chains in offices around the country, today is R U OK Day. It’s a day to put the spotlight on mental health and the importance of reaching out to your friends, family and colleagues to make sure they’re staying afloat.
As a whole, R U OK Day is an incredibly important initiative but sometimes I feel like the way businesses and public figures engage with days like this can feel a bit tokenistic. This morning, KISS FM’s sweet boy duo Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw, who have always been pretty open about their mental health struggles, took to the airwaves with a special segment to honour the bittersweet day. And honestly, it packed an emotional punch.
The fellas invited a bunch of their successful celeb friends to come into the studio to reveal some of their biggest self-doubts to show that often, we can all be our own worst critics who say things to ourselves that we’d never dream of saying to our friends or family. But to show how harsh and untrue these negative thoughts are, they had to say them as if it were feedback to a friend.
Woody kicked off the segment.
“Whenever someone says anything nice about you, they’re lying because how could that be true?” he said to Will.
“The only thing that makes you noticeable is your output and if you stop working then you will disappear, and people will stop loving you,” Will replied.
“Hey mate I don’t think you’re that good at this,” Falcon told his comedy partner Jack.
“I don’t think you really deserve anything you got so sorry, mate.”
“Hey Falcon, I don’t think anyone thinks you’re funny today so just be careful what you say,” he replied.
Mitch was next: “You are completely and totally unlovable and you’re a joke if you think anyone is going to love you the way you want to be loved.”
Pretty harsh, hey? Not the kind of shit you’d ever tell your friends.
Then, their friends Brittany Hockley, Laura Byrne, Mitch Churi, Georgie Tunny, Sam Taunton, Steph Claire Smith, Laura Henshaw, Jack Steele and Matt “Falcon” Ford from The Inspired Unemployed bravely shared their own negative inner dialogue with each other.
“Well, I think you’re pretty useless,” Steph Claire Smith said.
“Hey, I just don’t think you’re good enough,” Laura Henshaw replied.
Laura Byrne was emotional as she shared her insecurity with Brittany Hockley: “You’re a bad mum because you don’t have enough time for your kids.”
“You are never going to be a mum,” Brittany shared.
The thing is, I know this is the whole point but even writing these quotes down feels super harsh.
They’re the kind of heart-shattering statements I can’t fathom saying to my friends and family. But to myself? Every fkn day.
During a day that is often filled with so many tokenistic gestures, it’s so refreshing to see some successful, aspirational people be vulnerable like this to show how common negative self-talk is no matter your circumstance.
If you need mental health support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.