Dr Alex George has revealed losing his brother has encouraged him to do ‘everything in his power’ to help others struggling with mental health issues.
In an interview with MailOnline, the Love Island star, whose younger sibling Llŷr tragically passed away aged 19 in July, detailed his new Fresher & Healthy campaign, aiming to safeguard students’ mental and physical health as they return to university amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The healthcare professional, 30, shared his motivation behind launching the initiative as he said: ‘Mental health is an illness and when you lose someone you love to that illness it encourages you to do everything in your power to ensure people see it and treat it in that way.
EXCLUSIVE ‘No one is alone’: Dr Alex George has revealed losing his brother has encouraged him to do ‘everything in his power’ to help others struggling with mental health issue
‘As an A&E doctor, it is very important to me to make sure people are aware that they must act if they are experiencing feelings of depression, anxiety or stress.’
The media personality went on to stress the importance of reaching out to others, adding: ‘No one is alone in their battle with mental health, there are people and organisations that can help. It’s so important that we get the message out there that young people can and should ask for help if they are not feeling well mentally.
‘There is always someone you can speak to whilst at university and it’s just making sure that students are aware of the resources out there to help them. For instance at Scape, there is always somebody to talk to, be it the reception team (who are mental health trained) or Scape’s Wellbeing Manager.
‘There is also an app that students can use to ask for help from the comfort of their own room. Helping young adults to feel safe, by providing them with the correct medical insights and practical health advice, is an area I’m very passionate about personally.’
Heartbreaking: The Love Island star’s younger sibling Llŷr tragically passed away aged 19 in July (pictured together)
‘I try to stay positive’: The TV star has been keeping busy working on the NHS frontline amid the coronavirus pandemic, an experience he’s documented on social media
Alex has been keeping busy working on the NHS frontline amid the coronavirus pandemic, an experience he’s documented on social media.
Explaining the effects of his schedule on his mental health, the TV star told us: ‘Being on the frontline has taken its toll mentally on doctors and nurses over the past few months.
‘Whilst it has been difficult seeing so many suffer with the virus first-hand, I always try to stay positive and remember that I’m doing what I love, which is helping people get well.
‘It is important that people take care of healthcare workers so that they can in turn help people in need, it’s been great to see the efforts people have gone to do this over the past few months in the wake of the pandemic.’
The Welshman, who recently took a two-week break from Instagram following the death of his brother, went on to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of social media.
Alex said: ‘In the wake of the pandemic, there has been a huge amount of misinformation and fake news that has been posted and shared across social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter.
‘I have seen so many ridiculous articles that provide inaccurate and false information that gets shared on these platforms, which can be hugely concerning and damaging to people’s mental health.
‘Whilst I do believe that overall social media is a positive space that when used correctly can provide a sense of community, I have found that the use of too much screen time can take its toll on our mental health.
‘It can take a toll on your mental health’: The Welshman recently took a two-week break from Instagram following the death of his brother
‘If social media is used too frequently, it can become addictive and difficult to disconnect from. I urge people to take a detox from social media for a couple of days if they are starting feel too dependent on their phones and if they are starting to feel their mental health has been negatively impacted by their phone device.’
The suicide rate for men in England and Wales in 2019 was the highest for two decades.
Official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found 5,691 suicides were registered last year, with an age-standardised rate of 11 deaths per 100,000 population.
The ONS said men accounted for around three-quarters of suicide deaths registered – 4,303 compared with 1,388 women.
If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.
‘Young people should ask for help’: The media personality also stressed the importance of reaching out to others