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Dr Alex George has candidly revealed he had “no clue” his brother Llŷr was struggling with his mental health before he tragically took his own life last year.
Love Island star Alex, 30, revealed he felt “the most indescribable physical pain” when he discovered his brother had died aged 19.
Alex explained how he received a call from his dad while he was at a restaurant and said he could tell “something bad had happened”.
Reliving the heartbreaking moment he learned of his brother’s death, he told The Sun Online: “In that moment my world fell apart, it came down around me. It shattered.”
Dr Alex George admits he worried people would doubt skills as a doctor if he shared his mental health struggles
Dr Alex George admits it's 'pretty rough at the moment' at his hospital and hopes for 'better times'
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The A&E doctor, who recently shared the emotional moment he received his Covid-19 vaccine, has petitioned for more to be done to support young people with their mental health for some time.
But, he said his brother’s heartbreaking death last year has “only served to strengthen my resolve”.
Paying tribute to his brother, Dr Alex added: “He was bright, talented, funny, empathetic, good-looking and just weeks away from starting medical school.
“We had plenty in common. He was a mini-me — obsessed with science, desperate to make a difference in the NHS and we shared a passion for cars and motorcycles.
“He would have been a credit to my profession and to society. He was one of the good guys.”
Dr Alex added that his family were unaware Llŷr was struggling with his mental health.
He said: “But still in his teens, with no diagnosed prior history of a mental health condition, he took his own life, leaving our family shattered and irrevocably changed.
“On paper, Llŷr didn’t look like someone who might have a mental health condition but that’s the rub — there’s no ‘type’ when it comes to mental health and suicide.
“It doesn’t follow the trajectory of conditions like pneumonia or broken bones. Each and every person who experiences poor mental health is unique.
“Not once did Llŷr tell me how he was feeling. I’m a doctor, we were very close, he knew I was a mental health advocate and hugely passionate about it.
“We spoke and messaged constantly and still he kept how he was feeling to himself.
“That tells you everything about the sense of stigma and shame we still have attached to mental health issues in this country.”
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Dr Alex, who admitted he used to worry people would doubt his skills as a doctor if he opened up on his mental health, is currently campaigning the government for young people to have more support in schools with their mental health.
He said: “Two years ago, I met with then-PM Theresa May on World Mental Health Day to discuss how we could get better provision in schools.
“Since then, I have spent thousands of hours talking to mental health patients, advocates, charities, experts, psychologists, teachers and, most recently, the Government about what we can do differently so as few families as possible have to live with what mine do.”
If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.
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