Content warning: this article discusses suicide
Dr Alex George has urged everyone to check in on the people around them – including those who “seem themselves” – in a heartfelt message for World Suicide Prevention Day.
Speaking yesterday, the Mental Health Ambassador reminded his followers of the importance of looking out for one another. George also recalled the moment he learned his younger brother, Llŷr, had died by suicide in July, 2020.
“I’ve always told my parents that if you really need to get a hold of me, ring on two consecutive occasions and I’ll always answer,” he explained in a TikTok video that went out to his 890,000 followers. “Well, on the 23 of July 2020, I sat down with my friends, my phone was by my side, and it started buzzing and buzzing and buzzing. I picked up the phone and I answered, and I hear my dad’s voice, and I knew immediately, without doubt, something terrible has happened. I said to him, ‘Dad who has died?’ and he said, ‘Llŷr has passed away’ and that day, on a sunny, beautiful day like it is when I’m recording this, my world changed, and a few hours later I learned that he died by suicide.”
Llŷr was just 19-years-old when he died. Penning a tribute to the teenager when he shared news of his death, George called his younger brother "the kindest and most caring soul"
George, who rose to fame on Love Island in 2018, has used his platform to raise mental health awareness through a number of initiatives, including his book, The Mind Manual, and his work with the government, as Youth Mental Health Ambassador.
He’s also praised for using his social media to open up conversations surrounding mental health, with his post yesterday urging everyone watching to speak to their loved ones and those around them. “My ask for you is to please, please, please look around you, reach out to people. Check in on the people that are quiet. Check in on the people that seem different to what they usually are like. Check in to the people that seem themselves. You never know who is suffering.”
He also spoke directly to anyone who could be suffering: “Please, please never give up hope. Don’t leave brothers, sisters, parents, friends, family always wondering why and questioning what if. That day has changed my life. I can’t take it back, but I hope that I can help people sat on the other end of the phone, looking and watching this, to not do the same."
In his caption, George added: “There is always hope for a better day. If you need to talk to someone, the Samaritans are available 24/7 on 116 123.”
You can call Samaritans for free on 116 123 or get in touch online.
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