Roman Kemp opens up about his mental health
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Kemp isn’t the only male suffering from mental health issues as figures from 2019 reveal that three-quarters of all suicides in England and Wales were men. This startling figure has been put into a new perspective after it was estimated that currently, around 1.6 million people are waiting to access mental health support on the NHS. An expert has shared top warning signs with Express.co.uk that might signal that you also need to seek help.
Informed by the mental health crisis data, Boots has launched a collection of on-demand mental health services, including speaking therapy.
During the launch event, Kemp shared his personal experience with mental health that “took a serious turn” in 2019.
He said: “At that point, I was getting ready to go to celeb shows like Gogglebox – I’ve got this life that’s all fun.
“And something just one day hit me.”
Kemp continued: “I just remember being sat down in my pants on the floor in my bedroom, crying in a really bad way.
“I understand it’s a triggering topic for a lot of people but the honest answer is a lot of men suffer from suicidal thoughts, it’s a very common thing.
“And it took a serious turn for me there and I did experience those thoughts quite heavily.”
This wasn’t the first time Kemp faced mental health problems. It all started when he was just 15.
His parents were the ones who noticed a difference in his mood. Kemp shared: “My dad used to … be like why are you not chirpy anymore, why are you not saying how are you, why are you not asking me what my day is?
“The honest answer was I didn’t want to interact; I didn’t want a chat at all and I didn’t want to talk to anyone.
“I felt like I was waking up with this kind of grey cloud over my head.”
Feelings like these could be the first signs of declining mental health.
Dr Christina Hennessey, Chief Medical Officer at Lemonaid Health, explained: “Early warning signs could be a persistent low mood, lasting for more than two weeks, that can’t be shifted by things that usually make you feel happy.
“Or sometimes physical symptoms such as feeling very tired, and either sleeping too much but not feeling re-energised, or not being able to sleep, might be a signal that it’s time to speak to a mental health professional.”
After Kemp visited a doctor based on his mum’s decision, he received a diagnosis of depression and started taking antidepressants.
The NHS explains that depression “is a real illness with real symptoms” that’s about more than just simply feeling unhappy for a few days.
Kemp has been taking his medication ever since then. “They make me feel normal,” he said during his BBC documentary titled Our Silent Emergency.
The star added: “I really suffer if I don’t take them.”
Now years later, he’s been leading an uphill battle where “some days are better than others”.
Another punch was when Kemp tragically lost his close mate Joe Lyons to suicide in 2020.
That’s why he’s trying to push the message of checking in on other people even if you don’t struggle with mental health problems yourself.
“Please, just be the hero to your friends,” he concluded.
In case you’re struggling with mental health and need to speak to someone, you can call Samaritans on 116 123, 24 hours a day.
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