Dr Alex George has revealed he is taking medication for anxiety, but admitted he did not access it “for years” because he was worried about the opinions of others.
The former Love Island star, who was appointed a youth mental health ambassador for the UK government earlier this year, said he wants to break the stigma around taking medication to help with mental health.
Sharing a photo of a pill in the palm of his hand, he wrote: “I have been thinking quite hard about whether to post this, but I feel it’s the right thing to do.
“So many people live with medication stigma everyday, a fear that they will be judged as being weak or discriminated against, simply for taking a pill to help with their mental health.
“The other day I did a pool on my stories and 75 per cent of you have faced medication stigma. That is so sad.
“I take medication, alongside therapy and self care, to help with my anxiety.
“I really needed this treatment but for years I didn’t access it, on reflection I was worried about what people would think.
“I can tell you now, I am not ashamed. I AM PROUD to take control of my own health.
“This does not make me weak or less able, it makes me stronger.
“How many people are not getting the treatments they need AND deserve because of this very stigma? This HAS to change.
“This post is not about saying medication is the ‘answer’ for everyone, rather to say that for those who need it should have access without barriers or shame.”
The A&E doctor also encouraged his followers to join him in sharing photos of their medication using the hashtag “#postyourpill” in a bid to “take a stand against medication stigma”.
*ANNOUNCEMENT* Dr Alex George will present our upcoming documentary following the journeys of young people across the UK living with mental health issues 💛
Dr Alex: Our Mental Health Crisis #ChildreninNeed
Coming soon → @BBCiPlayer pic.twitter.com/eh92jvpSTcAdvertisement
— BBC Children in Need (@BBCCiN) October 27, 2021
The former reality TV contestant has been an advocate for mental health following the death of his 19-year-old brother Llyr in July 2020.
He has previously said he plans to achieve a lasting legacy for better mental health services in the UK in memory of his brother.
Last month he presented a documentary to highlight the mental health issues currently affecting children and young people in the UK as part of the BBC Children In Need appeal, exploring the impact the pandemic has had on young people’s mental and emotional wellbeing.