When it comes to mindless entertainment, I admit I’m more drawn to the 21st century equivalent of B-Movies on Syfy than any reality TV. But I did see the headlines about the death of Llŷr, younger brother of Love Island contestant Dr Alex George, through a mental health issue.
As someone who has fallen severely ill with depression (to the extent of being sectioned) and who lost a close family member in similarly tragic circumstances to Llŷr in 2018, I appreciate this is a subject that will continue impacting families, regardless of age, social status, ethnicity, gender, or any of the other myriad factors that define us as human beings.
If there can be any ‘positives’ arising from these awful stories, it’s that they tend to bring out an inherent sympathy in most of us. The ability to recognise the pain others are going through, and therefore empathise with the individuals and their loved ones, is another quality that makes us human.
One remaining barrier to talking more openly about mental health issues is the ongoing stigma. But no one should ever feel awkward or embarrassed about feeling the need to seek help. There is always help.
Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk).