During his time on The X Factor last year, winner James Arthur spoke openly about the many times he’d suffered from depression and battled with mental health issues, including having a panic attack during one of the live shows…
And as we’ll see during tonight’s Comic Relief telethon on BBC1, James is hoping that by speaking about his own troubles, he can help others who are similarly suffering.
For the Red Nose Day appeal, The Sun’s TV Biz reports, “James went to a project in his home town of Middlesbrough that was particularly close to his heart.
“The singer spoke to people struggling with mental health issues at STAMP Revisited, prompting James to open up about the difficult times he has faced.”
We’ll hear James admit that before he joined X Factor, he considered suicide during what he describes as “the darkest point” of his life.
James explains, “Sometimes I can’t sleep, I’ve got that many creative ideas going round my head.
“I get the guitar out and start singing at the top of my voice until I feel any anxiety draining away.
“Music is my coping mechanism. Singing something passionately releases that energy.”
He added, “In my life I’ve had some low points, so now it’s really important to give something back because I’m really passionate about changing people’s perceptions about mental health.
“This project is doing amazing work and the men and women it supports are inspirational.”
During his time visiting STAMP, James met Clare, who’s suffered with depression since she was attacked in the street four years ago.
26 year old Clare said, “When you suffer depression you’re scared what people think. STAMP has helped me find my old self.
“Without the project, I’d be six feet under — I was so desperate.”
Ralph, who’s vice-chair of the organization as well as being a sufferer of mental health issues, added, “You can have all the money in the world but it’s not important if you’re suffering.
“James will be a big role model in making more people aware of mental health issues.”
Comic Relief airs on BBC1 from 7pm tonight, but for now, here’s a look at James performing live recently…