Man who tweeted 'I am not OK' during pandemic: 'People are yearning for hope and good news'

Ross McGuinness
·3-min read

Watch: Man who tweeted ‘I am not OK’

A man who received an outpouring of well-wishing after tweeting “I am not OK” during the coronavirus pandemic has said people are “yearning for hope and good news”.

Edmund O’Leary, 51, from Epsom, Surrey, posted an update about his mental health on Twitter on Friday night that went viral.

In his tweet, which has been retweeted more than 14,000 times and has more than 298,000 likes, he wrote: “I am not ok. Feeling rock bottom.

Edmund O'Leary posted a tweet saying: 'I am not OK'. (ITV)
Edmund O'Leary posted a tweet saying: 'I am not OK'. (ITV)

“Please take a few seconds to say hello if you see this tweet. Thank you.”

Following his tweet, the father-of-two, who has been struggling to find employment during the pandemic, received goodwill messages from all over the world.

A number of Twitter users sent him their paintings and inspirational videos in response.

O’Leary has been out of work for 18 months after working as a mental-health adviser. He has been battling depression for more than a decade.

He said an “absolutely horrendous” year had taken its toll.

In an interview with ITV News on Sunday, he said: “People are yearning for hope, love and a bit of good news and I think my little tweet has turned into, I suppose, a good news story.”

He added: “Suffering with depression during normal times is one thing but to end up suffering with depression during a global pandemic where there is very little good news is devastating.

“I’ve had people tweet from California. I've had people tweet from Canada.

“I’ve had tweets from Australia. One little boy said to his mummy: ‘I really feel for Edmund O'Leary and I want him to know he is loved.’”

In a separate interview with the Sunday Times, O’Leary explained why he posted his tweet.

“Most days are really rubbish, and yesterday was another day I was feeling really low. I thought: ‘I’m going to be honest.’

“I am shocked at the degree of the response. It has been phenomenal.

“This year has been absolutely horrendous. My mental health has really taken a battering. I live on my own, I'm divorced, I don't have much family support.”

Watch: Can you catch coronavirus twice?

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