A leading mental health charity has expressed its admiration for Sinead O'Connor, after the Irish singer scrapped her remaining tour dates and shared with her fans her ongoing battle with bi-polar disorder.
Paul Jenkins, CEO of the charity Rethink Mental Illness, has come forward to support O'Connor in her campaign to get well, saying:
“We are very sorry to hear that Sinead is unwell, but we’re pleased to hear she has followed the advice of doctors to slow down.
“We wish her all the best in getting through this difficult time and commend her for her continued honesty when it comes to talking about mental health. When celebrities speak frankly about mental illness they go a long way in helping to break down the stigma that still surrounds it.”
O'Connor has scrapped all her upcoming tour dates and threatened to quit showbusiness forever following a meltdown before a scheduled show in Munich, Germany on Saturday.
The Irish star, who has been open in the past about her battles with mental illness, briefly posted a statement on her website over the weekend, urging fans not to show up for the German show and she has since announced her plans to retreat from the music industry and work "a normal job". Her American promoters have confirmed the gigs have been cancelled.
All messages posted to her personal website have since been removed and the site itself has been replaced by a white space.
In a tweet to fans late last week, O'Connor wrote: "Am going home and cancelling touring for the year. Doc had asked me not to tour but I thought was stronger than am."
Her Twitter.com account has since been taken offline.
A message O'Connor sent to fans before her website was shut down has since been re-posted on a fansite. It reads: "With enormous regret I must announce that I have to cancel all touring for the year as am very unwell due to bi polar disorder.
"As you all know I had a very serious breakdown between December and March and I had been advised by my doctor not to go on tour but didn't want to 'fail' or let anyone down as the tour was already booked to coincide with album release. So very stupidly I ignored his advice to my great detriment, attempting to be stronger than I actually am."
O'Connor concluded that she hoped to be well enough to appear at a Curtis Mayfield tribute concert in New York in July.
O'Connor made headlines at the beginning of the year when she temporarily split from husband Barry Herridge just two weeks after the couple wed in Las Vegas.
She was subsequently hospitalised to treat her depression following a public meltdown on Twitter.com in which she pleaded for help and revealed she had taken an overdose of pills.
Paul Jenkins added: "Many people with bipolar disorder and other series mental illnesses manage their condition and hold down successful jobs, but due to the fluctuating nature of the illness, they may occasionally need some time out."