On Monday, March 9 2021 ITV’s flagship daytime show Good Morning Britain were discussing Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
At one point the Duchess of Sussex admitted there were occasions where it got so bad that she was suicidal and ‘didn’t want to be alive anymore’ during her time working as a royal.
Back in the studio Susanna Reid, said ‘A lot of people will feel extremely concerned about that’ whereas co-host Piers Morgan blasted the claims saying ‘I don’t believe her.’
Twenty four hours later on the same show, Piers Morgan stormed off set after co-presenter Alex Beresford defended Harry and Meghan and condemned Piers’ treatment of them on Monday’s show, labelling it as diabolical and hard to watch.
And that’s exactly what it was. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing at 06:36am on Monday morning when Piers shouted the words ‘I don’t believe her’ and I found the entire thing deeply upsetting.
As someone who has struggled with his mental health for large parts of his life, I can’t put into words how damaging it is to hear people say things like that, especially on a show with ratings as high as Good Morning Britain.
Being completely honest I can’t say I ever contemplated suicide, but the thoughts were there.
There were a few occasions where I was in London, stood on a tube platform and I would think, even if for a split second, why don’t I just jump?
If you picture a seesaw in the park, stand on either end and it tips in favour of that side but if you remain in the middle it’s perfectly balanced.
In the times where my depression was at its worst, the first half of 2014, I was stood in the middle.
On one side were the suicidal thoughts calling for me, while the other was a call to get the help I so clearly needed at the time.
My mental breakdown on the streets of Colchester on May 30th 2014, the eve of my 20th birthday, was clearly seen by a number of friends and they did everything they could to help me in the moment. They got me into a taxi home, and in the days after they would check-in to make sure I was okay and getting the help I needed.
Because my friends believed my cry for help I thankfully went in favour of the side of the seesaw that saw me seek professional help, and the rest writes itself.
I attended weekly therapy for nine months until March 2015 when I embarked on my first solo backpacking trip before going public with my mental health problems in 2016 ahead of my charity cycle from London to Paris.
Twelve months after the cycle I started this blog dedicated to mental health awareness and later on this year I take on my biggest physical challenge yet – the London Marathon – raising money for Mind, the mental health charity.
Going back to my mental breakdown on May 30th 2014, if my friends had turned around and said ‘I don’t believe you’ similar to how Piers Morgan did on Good Morning Britain, none of the above would have happened.
Instead, going back to the metaphorical seesaw, there is a very good chance that I’d have tipped the balance in favour of listening to the suicidal thoughts if my cries for help were shot down like that.
One of the reasons I kept my mental illness locked in for so long was because I was living in fear that people wouldn’t take them seriously and would label me a liar or attention seeker.
Thankfully, from my own personal experience, that wasn’t the case back in 2014 and my mental health journey has mostly been a positive one since. If there is ever a time where I am struggling mentally, I know that my friends and family will believe me and be nothing but supportive while I try to navigate myself to a higher level of wellbeing – and that knowledge is priceless.
The reason I found Piers Morgan’s comments so despicable and was motivated to write this blog post is because of the mental health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the roadmap out of lockdown officially started on Monday when schools across the country reopened, there is still a long way to go and the mental health effects will be felt for a very long time.
Families have been separated for almost a year, business’ are closing their doors and many are struggling to find new employment. Therefore it has never been more important to speak openly and honestly about how we are feeling.
For a lot of people, this will be the first time they have experienced these feelings and they will be experiencing the same fear I was before my mental breakdown. When they see and hear comments like Piers Morgan shouting ‘I don’t believe you’ on national television, that is only going to make them more hesitant about speaking out.
Mental health matters. If you are struggling, reach out and do not feel ashamed.
2021 London Marathon
I’m running the 2021 London Marathon for Mind!
If you wish to donate or keep up to date with how my training and fundraising is going you can do so by following the links below.
Fundraising Page: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JordanCamp
My new Instagram page dedicated to my London Marathon journey: @26.2MilesForMind
Mind Website: https://www.mind.org.uk