Redcar singer James Arthur opens up about mental health in documentary

James Arthur's new documentary explores his own experience with anxiety, depression and severe panic attacks. Credit: PA

Redcar singer James Arthur is hoping to encourage more people to talk about their mental health after opening up about his own in a documentary.

In a Twitter post the 2012 X Factor winner said that battling mental health can be "isolating" and how talking more openly "will save lives".

The new BBC film explores Arthur' own experience with anxiety, depression and severe panic attacks.

The 34-year-old speaks about his rise to stardom after winning the X Factor, which developed into a decade of highs and lows with his own mental health.

At his worst, the father-of-one said said he considered taking his own life.

James Arthur rose to fame after winning the X Factor in 2012. Credit: X Factor

Redcar CF football team, which was also involved in the documentary, is running its own campaign to get members talking about mental health.

In a Twitter post, Arthur wrote: "I wanted to make this documentary to highlight how isolating the battle with mental health can be, but also that it doesn’t have to be.

"It was incredible speaking to the lads from Redcar CF and hearing about the positive impact community support can have on our mental health.

"The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and I just hope it encourage everyone to talk more openly about they mental health and look out for each other as it can and will save lives."

James Arthur filming for the documentary with Redcar CF. Credit: Liam Noble Photography

Redcar CF hopes to make football clubs a safe space for men to talk with its "no substitute for mental health" campaign.

Chairman Jonathan Mcnaughton, who worked with Arthur on the documentary, said: “He was just a normal local lad really when we were speaking to him.

"He spoke to us off camera, just like a local lad.

"We were talking about Middlesbrough, about local things in the area and about football really and him coming down and having a kick around with us.

"It was as if we’d known him for years really.”

Redcar CF run a 'There's no substitute for mental health' campaign. Credit: Liam Noble Photography

Mr Mcnaughton hopes that the documentary will help spread the club's message of speaking up.

He said: “It’s just to get guys to speak more openly. If you're from our area you go a couple of weeks and it’s ‘oh my God i can't believe it’ and you see someone on social media saying bye to someone.

“People say ‘why didn’t they just speak up?'

“They're not speaking to people or they're not just saying ‘I need help’ which is the message we put across to our lads.

“Just say ‘I need to talk to someone’ and we have got 30 odd lads who will just drop something somewhere and just come round and speak to you or ring you and that's all it is just a text message asking if you're ok.

“I always tell the lads to ask twice. Ask someone if they're ok they'll say ‘yeah’. If you ask them again you say ‘are you sure you're ok?’, you're opening up the conversation a bit more.

“That's it really. I keep putting the message across to our lads and now we're trying to push that message to the other lads in the league we play in.

“It’s just making sure these football teams are safe spaces and no-one is judged.”

It comes as The North East recorded the highest rate of suicides in the England last year according to figures from the ONS.

The region recorded the highest rates in men, and women, and overall, per 100,000 in 2021.

If you are struggling to cope, you can call Samaritans for free on 116 123 (UK and ROI) or contact other sources of support, such as:

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