George Shelley has opened up about how his mental health was affected following the death of his sister last year.
The former Union J singer gave a candid interview on Thursday’s (1 February) ‘Lorraine’, during which he spoke out to help bring about conversation on the topic of depression and anxiety.
George was left devastated after his sister Harriet died in May at the age of 21, having suffered severe head injuries when she was hit by a vehicle during a night out in Bristol.
Speaking about the effect of her death, George told Lorraine Kelly: “I want to raise awareness. Mental health is real.
“I’ve had a rubbish year. I’ve experienced things I never thought I would ever have to experience. I have come out of it the other end after thinking it wasn’t going to go like this.”
He continued: “I don’t know how my brain worked it out. I pretended it didn’t happen.
“I was back to work. I was doing things I shouldn’t have been doing because I was not well enough. I didn’t realise how much it had affected me.”
George’s family spent a week in hospital with Harriet, who was in intensive care after the accident, living in hope she would pull through.
“It was like she’s gonna live, she’s gonna live, and at the end they said they had the brain specialists in and said even if she pulls through she’s gone,” he said.
Harriet’s death came just after George had been dropped as one of the co-hosts of the Capital breakfast show, which he claimed added to his mental health struggles.
“It was not like I just lost my sister, I lost my job. It was a lot at once,” he said.
Admitting he is “now seeing colour again”, he added: “I have amazing friends and support system. It is important to have that.”
During the interview, George also opened up about how he was forced to deal with his sexuality during his time on ‘I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!’.
“I went into the jungle knowing I was gay,” he explained. “I’d kissed boys.
“You panic because you’re in that situation. I was crying and missing my mum because I was panicking is anyone trying to out me?”
‘Lorraine’ airs weekdays at 8.30am on ITV.
Useful websites and helplines:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
- Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org