Where to get mental health help as Roman Kemp issues plea to government: 'I can no longer sit and watch'

The son of Spandau Ballet singer Martin Kemp has issued a lengthy letter, pleading for more to be done to support those struggling.

Roman Kemp, pictured at the 2023 Capital Summertime ball, he has spoken about mental health issues. (Getty Images)
Roman Kemp has called on the government to do more for those living with a mental health issue. (Getty Images)

Roman Kemp has discussed his personal experiences of depression and suicidal thoughts in a plea to the government to step up its support on mental health.

The broadcaster, 30, voiced his concerns over a lack of action towards suicide prevention in an emotional letter shared to social media.

Posting a screenshot of the letter, addressed to the government and all MPs, to his Instagram account, Kemp explains that the UK’s mental health issues were "at a record high", urging the situation to be treated "like the pandemic that it is".

He also details his own experiences with his emotional wellbeing: "At the age of 15, I was diagnosed with depression and experienced suicidal thoughts for the first time," he writes. "I would regularly find myself struggling to get through each day. I know first-hand that, even if people like myself are lucky enough to have a loving, privileged and tight-knit family, that isn't always enough.

"Proper support needs to be in place for those who need it, and the sad reality is that in 2023, it's often individuals and charities who are trying to cover the gaps in a system that is becoming increasingly overwhelmed."

He ended his letter by calling on the government to "commit to a target of 100% of schools having MHSTs (Mental Health Support Teams)".

In the comments section of his post, fans praised the star for raising awareness about the issue. "Well said," one user writes. "Mental health services are seriously lacking in this country for everyone. Well done Roman. More high profile people should get behind you on this."

"Well done Roman, your efforts will help many," another adds.

"When you ask for help you quickly realise there simply isn’t much at all if any," yet another user comments.

Man looking depressed looking out window. (Getty Images)
You don't need to suffer in silence or alone. (Getty Images)

Mental health: The figures

As many as one in four adults and one in 10 children suffer from mental health problems in England.

One in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week, according to statistics from mental health charity Mind.

When it comes to suicide the Samaritans estimates that more than 6,000 people across the UK and Republic of Ireland take their own lives every year.

Meanwhile, one in five have suicidal thoughts and one in 15 attempt suicide, according to Mind.

While women are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and make attempts, men are three times more likely to take their own life (especially those in their 40s and 50s).

Mental health: Read more

A Senior Man sits on a sofa with his therapist , discuss and gestures as his speaks to her. Hopeful expression, Mental health and counseling concept.
'It shows great coverage and strength to admit that you have a problem'. (Getty Images)

What to do if you're struggling with your mental health

The first step is opening up to someone about what you are going through, or feeling.

"While it can be really hard at first, a big part of being proactive about your mental health is seeking help and reaching out," Earim Chaudry, medical director at Men's wellness platform Manual told Yahoo Life UK.

"Whether that's going to your GP or looking for a counsellor, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to managing your mental health, but communicating how you're feeling is imperative."

While you still might need to seek support to help achieve this, Chaudry also explained how a healthy lifestyle can do wonders for your mind. "Going outside for a jog, getting a good night's sleep and a healthy diet can play a large role in feeling good again," he said.

"Putting in a little time to connect with others is also a great part of looking after your mental health," he added. "Setting aside some time to chat to a friend every week, volunteering and activities with your family are all ways you can really feel like you're establishing connections with other people."

Where to get help

If you find it difficult to talk to someone you know, you can:

  • call a GP – ask for an emergency appointment

  • call 111 out of hours – they will help you find the support and help you need

  • contact your mental health crisis team – if you have one

If you would like to contact a specialist service that's waiting to be a listening ear, these include:

  • Samaritans – call 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, or visit some branches in person, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, or call the Welsh Language Line on 0808 164 0123, 7pm-11pm every day

  • SANEline – call 0300 304 7000, 4pm-10pm every day

  • National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK – call on 0800 689 5652, 6pm-midnight every day

  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – call on 0800 58 58 58, 5pm-midnight every day, or try the CALM webchat service

  • Shout – text SHOUT to 85258, any time

  • The Mix – if you under 25 call 0808 808 4994, 4pm-11pm Monday-Saturday

Visit Mind's website to find even more mental health crisis helplines.

If you have seriously harmed yourself or you feel you may be about to, call 999 for an ambulance or go straight to A&E, or ask someone else to do it for you.

Watch: How can I improve my mental health?