Jason Manford: Comedian shares mental health battle

Jason Manford: Comedian shares mental health battle

Comedian Jason Manford has opened up about his struggles with mental health.

In a video on Facebook, he said he wanted to let people know why he had been less active on social media.

“I wouldn’t go as far as to say a breakdown, but I had a struggle mentally and I found it very difficult to deal with,” Manford told his fans.

Describing his battle with anxiety and depression, he said social media can make things worse and encouraged people to talk about their problems.

The Mancunian comic said people – “especially blokes” – do not talk about mental health enough, even though male suicide is such a big issue.

‘Not failing’

“It’s taken me this long to be brave enough to say it… I’ve been struggling, you know, finding things hard and I think sometimes social media can not help with that,” he said.

Manford said it was not just trolls but also “bad news and nastiness… even down to comparing your life”.

The father of five said he suffers from anxiety and depression and at his lowest, he “felt like I’d let my kids down and I couldn’t do my job any more”.

Manford said he wanted to pass on the advice he was given that “still gets me through to this day”, which was “just because you’re struggling, doesn’t mean you’re failing”.

“The next time you’re struggling, maybe say it to someone you love,” he added.

Love Island star Mike Thalassitis’ death not treated as suspicious

Love Island star Mike Thalassitis’ death not treated as suspicious

The 26-year-old, who was also a semi-professional footballer, was found dead in north London.
Mike Thalassitis found fame on the 2017 series of Love Island.

The death of the former Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis is not being treated as suspicious.

Police and the London ambulance service were called to a park close to Latymer Way, in Edmonton, north London, on Saturday. The police said a man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 26-year-old reality television star and semi-professional footballer had found fame on the 2017 series of the ITV competitive dating show Love Island. He earned the nickname “Muggy Mike” after partnering with Olivia Attwood, the girlfriend of fellow islander Chris Hughes.

A statement from the Metropolitan police said: “Police were called to a park near Latymer Way, N9, at 9.28am on Saturday, 16 March. Officers and the London ambulance service attended and found a man, aged in his 20s, deceased.

“At this early stage, the death is not being treated as suspicious. Police are in the process of informing the man’s next of kin. A file will be prepared for the coroner.”

Thalassitis, who was of Cypriot descent, was born in Edmonton and played for clubs including Stevenage, St Albans, Chelmsford and Margate.

Tributes were left on Sunday outside the cafe that he planned to open. Bunches of flowers and a card were placed at the door to the business, the Skillett, in Loughton, Essex. The interior of the unit, on a small row of shops, appeared to be midway through a refurbishment.

His Love Island co-star Montana Brown had earlier written on Instagram: “I will help open your cafe with Scott because you worked so hard on it so don’t you worry!”

In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org

Scarlett Moffatt hints at ‘sh***y mental health battle’ after taking a break from social media


Scarlett Moffatt returned to Twitter this week after a self-imposed social media ban. Scarlett Moffatt has indicated that she’s experiencing a ‘constant battle of emotions.’ Following a self-imposed social media ban, the vivacious TV personality, 27, agreed with a Twitter user who said that balancing a bubbly personality with ‘shitty mental health’ was confusing. Scarlett is believed to be going through her second break-up with ‘pathological liar’ Lee Wilkinson and deleted her Instagram for a week at the end of July saying she was ‘[honestly so done] with every aspect of social media.’ On her return this week, Scarlett wrote ‘agreed’ with two supportive kisses under a tweet that said: ‘Having shitty mental health but your personality being naturally bubbly & outgoing is theeee most confusing thing. Constant battle of emotions.’ Scarlett has previously spoke about how being in the spotlight affects her mental health. At the end of last month, she vented her frustration at Twitter users who insulted her appearance on Love Island: After Sun. She wrote: ‘I wanted and felt like I had to write that tweet to let you know at the end of the day I’m a 27 year old girl with feelings & a family who get upset also when they see vile comments about my appearance. Something needs to change with our society!!’ She also hinted that pap pictures were beginning to bring her down, warning that unflattering photos can affect people’s mental health. Before finding fame, the former Gogglebox star said that experiences of anxiety and dizzying panic attacks affected her on a daily basis. Writing in her autobiography Sofa, So Good, Scarlett confessed: ‘When you talk about it, it becomes less stressful. I don’t think anyone should feel like it’s a problem, because it’s not something you can help: that’s just how our brains work. ‘There’s such a stigma attached to anxiety, so it’s good to brush that away, nobody should feel embarrassed or alone. The more people talk about it, the more people will understand it and know how to act.’ ‘I still have bad days. What people need to understand about anxiety and panic attacks is that it isn’t necessarily the big things that can make you feel nervous, it can be little things too.’


Link to Metro article here


James Blake opens up about "suicidal thoughts" and mental health

Since releasing a handful of new tracks this year, James Blake has been pointedly vocal about artist mental health.

First penning a letter to reject the problematic “sad boy” label often assigned to his music and pointing out the current “epidemic of male suicide and depression”, Billboard reports that the London native recently also joined the Performing Arts Medicine Association in Orange County, California as a guest speaker on a panel called ‘You Got This: Managing the Suicide Crisis in the Arts Population’ where he tackled the subject of mental health amongst touring artists by opening up about his own experiences with depression and “suicidal thoughts”.

“I was taken away from normal life essentially at an age where I was half-formed,” Blake said, referencing his newfound fame he experienced in his early 20s after tracks like ‘Wilhelm Scream’ and ‘Limit to Your Love’ were released. “Your connection to other people becomes surface level. So if you were only in town for one day and someone asked you how you are, you go into the good stuff…which generally doesn’t involve how anxious you feel [or] how depressed you feel.”

Additionally, he discussed how impactful his (bad) eating habits were on tour, a complaint often felt by touring artists. “I would say that chemical imbalance due to diet and the deterioration of my health was a huge, huge factor in my depression and eventual suicidal thoughts,” he said. “I developed [dietary] intolerances that would lead to existential depression on a daily basis. I would eat a certain thing and then all day I would feel like there was just no point.”

Additionally, and possibly alluding to his previous statements about being labeled a “sad boy”, Blake dispelled the common notion that an artist must suffer in order to succeed, creatively. “There is this myth that you have to be anxious to be creative, that you have to be depressed to be a genius. I can truly say that anxiety has never helped me create. And I’ve watched it destroy my friends’ creative process too.”

Blake also shared his experience with an experimental treatment called EMDR therapy, which uses rapid eye movement to allow patients to “reprocess” traumatic experiences. Along with his girlfriend, with whom he lives with in Los Angeles, Blake explained that he found success in simply cutting ties with negative sources. “Honestly, a lot of catharsis just came in telling lots of people to fuck off. And saying no. Saying no to constant touring. No [amount of] money will ever be enough.”

He concluded his time on the panel by pointing out that “we’ve reached a critical point”. “We are the generation that’s watched several other generations of musicians turn to drugs and turn to excess and coping mechanisms that have destroyed them. And there are so many high-profile people recently who’ve taken their own lives. So we, I think, have a responsibility to talk about it and to remove the stigma.”

Read more about DJs and artists opening up about mental health here



Link to Mixmag article here 

Scott Hutchison tributes: ‘His music meant so much to people’

Scott Hutchison

Friends from within the Scottish music scene have spoken of the “pure joy” Scott Hutchison brought to their lives – and the impact his music had on his fans.

The Frightened Rabbit singer’s body was found on Thursday night near North Queensferry, almost two days after he was reported missing.

Scott – who had talked openly about his mental health and depression – had written a tweet late on Tuesday saying “I’m away now.”

His friends say his legacy will live on in his music, which helped so many deal with their own struggles.

Roddy Woomble, the lead singer of Idlewild, told BBC Scotland that he struck up a friendship with Scott because of a mutual admiration for each others’ work.

Idlewild singer Roddy Woomble formed a friendship with Scott

Roddy said that when they first met, Scott had told him how he’d grown up listening to Idlewild.

But Roddy was blown away when he started listening to Frightened Rabbit.

‘The soundtrack to people’s lives’

He said: “Frightened Rabbit’s music is beautiful. Scott was an extremely talented songwriter because he could make a connection with his audience. It’s not something everybody can do.

“When you write lyrics that make sense, are honest and from your heart then other people can understand them.

“Songs can have such a big impact, especially if they hit you at the right time in life.

“Frightened Rabbit have been around for 15 years now, so they will have been the soundtrack to some people’s lives. A generation grew up listening to them.

“If you were 15 when you got into them, you are 30 now, and that’s an important and influential portion of your life.

“You remember that kind of music for the rest of your life.

“His music meant so much to people and it’s sad that he felt that alone when he was surrounded by so many people who loved him.”

Frightened Rabbit
Scott Hutchison formed Frightened Rabbit with his brother Grant

Scott had spoken openly about his mental health and his battle with depression.

He talked about it in song lyrics, and sometimes in interviews.

In an interview last year, he said: “Sometimes I wish I had a better mode of communication for when I’m feeling depressed, anxious, any of those things, but it tends to just work itself out into a song.

“That’s the way it’s always been for me.”

Roddy said he had never seen a “darkness” in Scott.

‘I don’t want to believe it’

“You could see in his eyes there was something going on, and obviously through his music and lyrics you could hear it,” he said.

“But my experience of him was one of pure joy – he was a joy to spend time with.

“Once we got to know each other we hung around socially. One of the last times I saw him was at the International Book Festival in Edinburgh last year. Afterwards we went out to Optimo.”

Roddy said he knew Scott as “a gregarious guy”.

He added: “He seemed to love that socialising, the being with people.

“It’s terribly sad and I am devastated. I just don’t want to believe it.

“I knew that Scott struggled with mental health issues and depression but I just didn’t think it would come to this.”

Frightened Rabbit perform at Glastonbury in 2013

Radio Scotland DJ Vic Galloway became friends with Scott after he started playing Frightened Rabbit on his show.

He said: “I considered Scott a friend, not just somebody I play on the radio.

“I have been playing Scott on the radio for more than a decade, probably since about 2006. I champion new music and am always on the hunt for something interesting.

“Then along came Frightened Rabbit.

“I started playing their stuff and featuring them live in session and as a result I got to know him.

“He was a down to earth, funny, straight forward sort of guy which is why I can’t really get my head around all of this.

“He was an emotional guy – you can tell by the lyrics of all of his songs, right from the beginning all the way to the Mastersystem album.”

Frightened Rabbit
Frightened Rabbit in session with Vic Galloway in 2016

He added: “He wore his heart on his sleeve and I could tell when I was hanging out with him that he considered what he was saying all the time.

“Scott was an intelligent man, he checked himself the whole time.

“I tended to see him when he was out and about at gigs or parties, and he was on good form.

“He was a tender guy, but I never thought it would go to this extreme.

“He was always cheerful when I saw him. He might have been cynical about life but he was always laughing at it.

“This is obviously internal angst and the battle he was going through has manifested itself in his actions.

“It was a side that I didn’t see personally very often.”

‘He sang from his heart’

Vic added: “His songs dealt with heartache, mental health, and the day to day trouble and strife that people go through. That’s why it connected with people.

“He sang from his heart, he sang from the bottom of his lungs, he really gave it everything he could on stage and on record.

“Scott’s passing will be mourned in Scotland and across the world.

“The poignant descriptions of the state of his own heart and his own vulnerabilities.

“Those songs will resonate with people for years to come.”

Isabella Goldie, director of development at the Mental Health Foundation Scotland, met Scott when he helped campaign with the charity.

During that time he ran music events, produced a CD and worked with a small music mentoring charity to help people suffering mental health issues to promote their music.

She said he was a generous and kind person, and “nothing was too much to ask of him”.

‘Demons and struggles’

Isabella added: “When I first worked with Scott about 10 years ago, he was really happy and optimistic.

“But over the years it started to become obvious that his moods had become a major issue for him.

“We were all concerned and did reach out to Scott but it’s really difficult for men to speak out and accept that help.

“We have somehow created a society in which it is really difficult for men to come forward and say how they feel.

“Obviously he had his own demons and struggles and it is beyond sad that he couldn’t manage those.”



Link to BBC article here 

My name is Wil Wheaton. I live with chronic Depression, and I am not ashamed.


Link to Wil Wheaton’s Blog here