3AW and Joy work together
3AW and Melbourne gay community radio station 94.9 Joy FM are unlikely partners in a joint broadcast to address teen suicide and mental health issues.
The program will have a specific focus on gay youth and will be hosted by 3AW's Neil Mitchell, and Joy FM's David McCarthy.
Speaking to 'The Age' of the suicide rate among young gay people Mitchell said 'It's just shocking, for years, the approach in media is that we don't talk about suicide. It's not working.''
''We keep hearing how Jimmy went down to the back paddock and killed himself,'' McCarthy said ''No one in his family knows why. Only later might someone say, 'Actually, he didn't feel comfortable telling his parents he was gay"
This is a brave move for 3AW given conventional wisdom would say that their audience are traditionally more conservative, however whilst the audience profile of the station shows there are few youths, gay or straight, listening to them, certainly some of their parents and grandparents do.
Undoubtedly a topic of discussion will be gay marriage. Mitchell said ''I'm of the view that if you legalise gay marriage, you'll save lives……….Do we lobby the Prime Minister? Do we need a new campaign? I don't know but I hope it will emerge from this program"
The program will be broadcast on Thursday 3 May from Melbourne's City Square and will run for 2-hours starting at 10am.
(picture: Ken Irwin in The Age)