The Wanted's Max George thanks NHS for Tom Parker's care and for own mental health support

Lucy Meacock spoke to Max about his beloved bandmate Tom Parker, mental health and the 'wonderful' NHS.

The Wanted's Max George has praised the NHS for their help during the final weeks of Tom Parker's life and for helping him during his own mental health struggles.

The Salford-born singer lost his bandmate in March at the age of 33 after he was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour.

"It's been a painful time but just trying to do good things", he told ITV Granada Reports presenter Lucy Meacock.

"Tom was so special, he was a massive part of my life. We achieved so much together and I wouldn't have achieved it without him."

Band members of The Wanted carry Tom Parker's coffin into the church at his funeral. Credit: PA images

Since he was diagnosed with depression 12 years ago, Max has raised awareness of mental health and seeking help.

The singer, who first revealed his diagnosis in 2021, said has his first mental health episode was when The Wanted first shot to fame with their number one song All Time Low in 2010.

He said: "I've achieved everything I've strived to and I feel extremely lucky for that.

"But my issues first came when I first achieved everything; getting a number one and selling out the arena in Manchester.

"Your brain is a powerful thing and if it's telling you 'you're not feeling right', then you're not feeling right.

"It's about managing it and the NHS have been amazing throughout my journey."

Tom Parker joined the rest of the band on tour earlier this year while battling a brain tumour. Credit: Max George / Instagram

Max has joined forces with O2 to show gratitude to healthcare professionals across the UK - and the carers who helped Tom during his final weeks.

Concerts for Carers aims to provide NHS staff and paid care workers access to free tickets to live events to say thank you for all of their hard work.

Speaking about the care he received during his darker days, Max said: "We're so lucky to have them. I've lived out in the States for seven years and they don't have what we have.

"It really made me recognise how lucky we are to have the NHS.

"I've had it first-hand and how they helped me at the start of my own mental health issues - and obviously more recently with my friend and how great they were."

Tom Parker on stage with bandmates Siva Kaneswaran and Nathan Sykes. Credit: Instagram

Max says he and the rest of the band are still processing the death of Tom, and recently cancelled a gig in Newcastle because it was "too soon" to perform without him.

In the weeks before he died, Parker announced that he had written a book about his battle with brain cancer, telling fans it was ‘not about dying: It’s a book about living.’

The memoir, which was released last week, has hit the Sunday Times Number 1 Best Seller list.

His wife Kelsey, who he shares two young children: Aurelia, two, and 21-month-old Bodhi, said she is 'beyond proud' of her late husband.

Speaking about his book, Max George said: "He has created an amazing legacy and, reading his book.

"It makes me realise even more how strong he was as a person it makes me realise myself how much we achieved."

  • Click here for information about Concerts for Carers.

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