UK musicians share mental health struggles in NHS video

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·Lifestyle Writer, Yahoo Life UK
·5-min read
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Undated handout video still issued by NHS England (from top left clockwise) of songwriter Laura Mvula, The Wanted's Max George, singer Craig David, singer Ella Henderson, Girls Aloud singer Nicola Roberts and singer Tom Grennan, who are helping to launch a new NHS mental health campaign by appearing in a video reciting words from The Beatles song Help!, to encourage people struggling with their mental health to seek support. Issue date: Monday January 17, 2022 (NHS/PA)
UK's biggest musicians are supporting a new NHS mental health campaign, urging people to seek help (NHS/PA)

Musicians including Nicola Roberts, Ella Henderson and Max George have opened up about their mental health struggles in a behind-the scenes NHS campaign video, encouraging others to get help.

The stars have been taking part in a new landmark mental health campaign, in which they used the iconic song 'Help!' by The Beatles to get people talking more about their struggles across the country.

The initiative also features Tom Grennan, Laura Mvula and Craig David.

In footage shared by the NHS, the musicians discuss their own battles with mental health, speaking about how therapy has helped them, and showcasing the benefits of seeking support.

Speaking on how it has helped her, Girls Aloud pop star Nicola Roberts, said, "Therapy can give you the tools to have a different perspective on the situation that you're in, and think about your scenario in different scenario to maybe where you've managed to get yourself mentally."

But while since the onset of the pandemic some 2.3 million people have come forward for NHS talking therapies, the majority are still not seeking professional help, meaning many more could benefit from doing so.

Songwriter Laura Mvula, said, "I, myself, have struggled with anxiety and depression and I know what it's like to feel like you're completely isolated."

Speaking on her therapy experience, she added, "Regularly just shedding and speaking to someone about what I was struggling with, and that lifted me and started the chain of change.

"When I had therapy on the NHS it did so much for my emotional being, just to know that someone was truly caring for me on a weekly basis."

Undated handout video still issued by NHS England of The Wanted's Max George who is helping to launch a new NHS mental health campaign by appearing in a video reciting words from The Beatles song Help!, to encourage people struggling with their mental health to seek support. Issue date: Monday January 17, 2022. (NHS/PA)
"There is help out there and the NHS are fantastic at providing it," says Max George (NHS/PA)

Boyband The Wanted's Max George, who competed in Strictly Come Dancing 2020, said: "The most down I ever felt was actually when I had achieved everything I ever wanted as a musician, and yet I had to admit that I wasn't happy.

"But when I explained to a therapist how I felt, they let me know it was normal and it was just mad to me that someone was so understanding.

"Just reaching out for help and speaking to someone is a huge relief and can help ease your mind, but I know first-hand that it's a really hard thing to do.

"I found out myself that there is help out there and the NHS are fantastic at providing it, and continue to help me, so I encourage anyone to reach out to them."

The classic soundtrack used in the official campaign video, written by the John Lennon in 1964, includes the lyrics "help me if you can, I'm feeling down", and was donated by Sony Music and Apple Corps for the campaign's version – featuring the stars speaking the lyrics in an impactful way instead.

Read more: UK singing stars talk help for mental health

EMBARGOED TO 0001 MONDAY JANUARY 17 Undated handout video still issued by NHS England of singer Tom Grennan who is helping to launch a new NHS mental health campaign by appearing in a video reciting words from The Beatles song Help!, to encourage people struggling with their mental health to seek support. Issue date: Monday January 17, 2022.
"When I started to talk to people around me and have therapy, I saw that there was light at the end of the tunnel," says Tom Grennan (NHS/PA)

Little Bit of Love singer Tom Grennan, from Bradford, said: "I have had some very dark days where I needed help.

"At a point in my life, there was a wall that was up and a wall that I couldn't climb over it.

"But when I started to talk to people around me and have therapy, I saw that there was light at the end of the tunnel.

"I could get out of bed, I could get on with my day, and didn't have that anxious voice holding me back."

He added, "People might look at me as a celebrity and think everything is fine, but I want people to know that behind closed doors I've had hard times – and seeking help was massively important.

"Talking about it and writing about ti was when I started to have clarity and see colour where there had been so much darkness."

The 26-year-old also encouraged those who might be struggling to speak to NHS professionals who are "always there to lend a hand."

Read more: Duchess of Cambridge's brother on former depression: 'Some of us are just surviving'

Undated handout video still issued by NHS England of singer Ella Henderson who is helping to launch a new NHS mental health campaign by appearing in a video reciting words from The Beatles song Help!, to encourage people struggling with their mental health to seek support. Issue date: Monday January 17, 2022. (NHS/PA)
Ella Henderson encourages the public to seek help from the NHS for their mental health (NHS/PA)

Singer Ella Henderson, known for competing in The X Factor in 2012, said: The scariest part about it is that you can feel so alone at first and you think that you're going crazy and that there's no way out.

"But when I finally did speak to someone, I felt like a ton of bricks was lifted off my shoulders.

"The NHS is there for you to speak to – there is a way out and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Read more: Martine McCutcheon praised for inspiring post about mental health struggles

Watch: Roman Kemp calls for more mental health awareness teaching in schools

The NHS is encouraging anybody experiencing anxiety, depression, or other common mental health concerns to come forward and see how talking therapies can help them.

NHS mental health talking therapies are confidential, run by fully trained experts and can be accessed by self-referral or through your GP practice – you can find all the information you need on this page of the NHS website.

The campaign is backed by a number of charities, including Mind (call for free on 0300 123 3393 or email info@mind.org.uk), Royal College of Psychiatrists, and AGE UK (0800 055 6112).

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