Gregg Giannotti, “Gio” of New York’s WFAN Boomer and Gio showed up for individuals everywhere living with mental health issues as he stood up to a caller who told him to “suck up” his anxiety attacks.
LISTEN NOW: Gio calls out listener for lack of education surrounding mental health
During their Tuesday morning show, Boomer and Gio received a call from Bill in Connecticut who shared his thoughts surrounding Gio suffering an anxiety attack on air which affected the show’s routine flow.
“You basically stopped the show,” the caller told Gio. “From my point of view, an anxiety attack like that… I’m of the mindset — and I’m probably older than you — you just gotta suck it up.”
Giannotti wasted no time clapping back at the listener and exposing his insensitivity and lack of education when it comes to individuals living with mental illness.
“I had a legit anxiety attack that day,” he stated. “Are you serious? You gotta suck it up? You know how many people have killed themselves because they were told to suck up their mental illness? Seriously? You know how many people? That’s the most insulting thing I’ve heard of all time.”
He continued, “I’ve gone to therapy; I’m on two different medications. I’m trying my best to get through the things that I have wrong with me, and you’re telling me to suck it up? This is why you get a lot of people who go through real trauma that are out in wars and come back here and kill themselves, because they were told to suck it up because of guys like you, Bill in Connecticut, because I’m soft, because I had a panic attack. That’s a real thing, man. It’s a real thing. If you don’t want to believe it, then you’re not smart enough or intelligent enough to understand it… We have got the most idiotic, neanderthal callers out there.”
Gio signed off by calling out individuals like Bill in Connecticut for being the week ones — not those who openly fight mental illness.
“Those of us who admit we’ve got issues — whether it be depression or anxiety — and deal with it in our lives to get to be in a better place are not soft,” he passionately stated. “You, my friend [Bill], you are the soft one, you are the idiot and you are the dick. Get that through your head.”
Audacy's I’m Listening initiative aims to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues to understand they are not alone. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, know that someone is always there. Additionally, the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 988. Find a full list of additional resources here.