Mel C has issued a powerful plea to all her fans who are suffering from mental health problems to speak out and get help.
The Spice Girl, 47, told Graham Norton on his Virgin Radio show that people should “never be embarrassed” to openly talk about mental health as she recalled her own struggles.
Mel – full name Melanie Chisholm – has always been candid about her past diagnoses of depression and an eating disorder, and explained to Graham that at first she’d been “ashamed” to talk about it.
“I kept those secret and I think people are quite aware of it around you,” she shared, “but they don’t know how to approach you.
“I think I would have just said ‘people love you and care about you, please reach out to them’…so often you need that external help, you have to be ready, but you do need help and personally for me I needed professional help.”
She added: “I’ve suffered with an eating disorder as well.
“I think a lot of people feel very ashamed and very embarrassed about it like it’s a weakness and you’ve lost this control…
“‘It’s so important to reach out and never, ever be embarrassed. We all have problems and concerns. People need people.
“If anybody close to me was going through it [depression], I think you just need to reach out when you’re depressed…”
Mel recently told The Mirror that she suffered from imposter syndrome at the height of the Spice Girls staggering success.
“I was earning lots of money,” she told us, “I felt guilty and I think I felt maybe I didn’t deserve it and I think all of these things made me put an extraordinary amount of pressure on myself to fit and be what in my head was the idea of perfect, so I did deserve all of the things that were happening to me.”
Recalling when she determined to get help, Mel added: “It was the millennium when I was in LA with my family.
“I was struggling to get out of bed, I felt hopeless, I was very, very teary and I feel like my body took over my mind.
“I didn’t have the will any longer to stay in this life. That is when I decided to go and see my GP…the first thing he wanted to address was my depression.
“It was a massive relief to me.”
*The Samaritans is available 24/7 if you need to talk. You can contact them for free by calling 116 123, email [email protected] or head to the website to find your nearest branch. You matter.