radioinfo has caught up with Jayson “Jay” Shipston a few times in the past couple of years.
A candid communicator, Jay who is one-half of Sea FM Mackay’s Jay and Dave Breakfast Show, has shared his struggle with Lupus, “coming-out” on air and now his latest venture to help those suffering mental illness.
Jay has battled anxiety along with body image issues for over a decade. 11 years ago he was suicidal and while he still has anxiety and issues with his appearance, he is able to manage them.
Jay and his partner Jamie recently went on holiday to Bali where they developed a business plan to raise money and awareness for mental health.
“Jamie and I created ChangeTee after our own struggles with mental illness,” says Jay.
“It has also been designed to help with suicide prevention.
“Our main goal with ChangeTee is to break down the stigma surrounding mental health with shirts that promote conversation and tell a story. 1 in 5 people suffer from a mental health illness.
“The scariest part is that most of these people suffer in silence and can end in tragedy. Something needs to change! It meant that we needed to speak about our own struggles, but if that is going to help someone else get through a horrible time in their life, then it was worth it for us.”
Jay and Jamie have launched a Kickstarter campaign for their business ChangeTee to help get their project off the ground.
“We are sitting at close to $1000.00 of our $5000.00 goal by the 8th of October,” says Jay.
They both hope the shirts will be conversation starters. With slogans tackling many of the issues that can spark mental health issues.
“We have decided to donate part of the proceeds from every sale to towards two of our chosen charities and programs, Headspace & Beyond Blue.
“They do an amazing job in supporting mental health patients and to ensure that those people get the help they need and deserve.
“Working in radio here in Mackay, I have heard from families and friends of loved ones who have taken their own lives.It’s something close to my heart and I want to make a difference.”
If you’d like to donate to ChangeTee follow this link.
Meantime, while in Bali Jamie asked Jay to marry him and while Jay has said they won’t officially tie the knot until same-sex marriage is recognised in Australia, they have committed to a lifetime together.
Jay and Jamie
If you or someone you know needs help contact Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 .