Love Island’s Dr Alex opens up about finding out his brother killed himself
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Dr Alex George has shared heartbreaking insight into the moment he found his 19-year-old brother had taken his own life.
The Love Island star relived the second he found out about the tragic news as he hopes to help others struggling with their mental health.
Writing in The Sun, he says that he had no clue that his fun-loving brother would end it all.
"I was at a restaurant when I found out," he writes. "My dad called me and immediately I could tell something was wrong, something bad had happened. I asked him who had passed away.
"What came next was the most indescribable physical pain I’ve ever felt. He told me my youngest brother Llŷr had died, and he’d taken his own life at the age of 19. In that moment my world fell apart, it came down around me. It shattered."
'Unique' student, 21, takes own life just months after younger sister's suicide
His powerful words come as many marked Blue Monday, supposedly the most depressing day of the year, by raising awareness on mental health issues.
Dr Alex praised the push and believes it's vital that young people start to open up about their problems.
He said that earlier in January he even wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The reality show star suggested that No10 prioritise and change education about mental health for young people.
Love Island's Dr Alex forced apart from family at Christmas after brother's death
The Government responded to him last week, creating a pathway toward discussions.
Dr Alex hopes new legislation will introduce permanent change to combat stigma.
Though he has campaigned passionately for years on the matter, he says that losing his brother last July strengthened his resolve.
The fact that such a "bright, talented, funny, empathetic, good looking" young man could take his own life made plain that pain can lurk beneath an apparently happy surface.
He writes in the Sun that, "on paper", his brother didn't "look like" the type to have mental health struggles.
Such cases, he says, highlight that there is no "type" when dealing with mental health and suicide.
Dr Alex reckons that's because mental decline doesn't follow the same trajectory of physical conditions, such as broken bones or life-changing diseases.
Rather, each and every person can experience it in a completely different way to other sufferers.
Llŷr never once reached out to his older brother, despite them being incredibly close.
Dr Alex says they messaged "constantly" and that his younger sibling was well aware of his work in mental health.
But still he kept his struggles to himself. Dr Alex believes this is a perfect example of the feelings of shame that are wrongly attached to mental health in the UK.
For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK free on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch.
- Boris Johnson
- Love Island
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