Sinead O’Connor opens up about mental health issues and attacks stigma around mental illness
Sinead O’Connor has opened up about her mental health issues in a heartbreaking video message to her fans and followers.
“I hope that this video is somehow helpful,” she said.
“Not actually to me – I know that I’m only one of millions and millions of people in the world that are just like me actually, that don’t necessarily have the resources that I have – in my heart or my purse, for that matter.”
She continued: “I was able to escape my country and escape stigma and escape all the things that meant it was okay for people to use the fact that I suffer from three mental illnesses as something to beat me with rather than something with which they might be compassionate.”
O’Connor added later: “I’m really sad, I shouldn’t be here, and I know I’m just one of millions and that’s the only other thing that keeps me going.
“I am one of millions and that should be our f**king catchphrase from now on. One of millions, one of f**king millions – why are we alone?
“What the f**k did we do, the people that suffer from mental illness are the most vulnerable people on earth we can’t take care of or f**king selves.”
O’Connor said: “Mental illness doesn’t care who you are, and stigma doesn’t f**king care who you are. It’s stigma what’s killing people, it’s not the mental f**king illnesses.
“If you have a family member who suffers from a mental illness, care for them. Tenderness, love, care for them, visit them in hospital.
“Don’t dump them in a bloody hospital and bugger off. Hello – it’s 2017.”
O’Connor, who is staying in a motel in New Jersey, said that she was rich enough to get out of hospital and travel to the “greatest country on earth” to be cared for by strangers – an option not open to everyone.
While she acknowledged suicidal feelings, a later message posted on her Facebook profile from a friend stated that she is safe.
“Hi everybody, I am posting at Sinead’s request, to let everyone who loves her know she is safe, and she is not suicidal,” the post today read.
“She is surrounded by love and receiving the best of care. She asked for this to be posted knowing you are concerned for her.
“I won’t respond to any questions, so please understand. I hope this comforts those of you were concerned.”
Fellow popstar Annie Lennox expressed her concerns in her own Facebook post this morning.
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“I just watched this truly distressing call for help by Sinead O’Connor, from a motel room in New Jersey, where she says there’s no one there to help her, with the exception of a psychiatrist and a doctor,” Lennox said.
“I realise that Sinead has some serious mental health issues, but she appears to be completely out on a limb and I’m concerned for her safety.
“Are there no close friends or family who could be with her to give her some loving support? It’s terrible to see her in such a vulnerable state.”
Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.