Ivan Yates opened up about his mental health on Cutting Edge

Cutting Edge had a frank discussion about mental health on last night's show that included Ivan Yates opening up about his own struggles.

When panellist Sinead O'Carroll praised Prince Harry for opening up about his grief and anger after his mother died, it sparked an honest conversation about ditching the "stiff upper lip".

"I think it was really important to hear a prince and a soldier talking not just about mental illness but how important it is to exercise your brain."

O'Carroll said she would see a professional when she feels she needs it and said it's important to talk and exercise your brain like your body to mind your mental health.

"If I have moments in life that I think 'maybe I'm a little bit sad' or I just want to talk through how I'm feeling about this, I would go and have a chat maybe not to burden friends."

She added that she would not be someone who suffers from mental illness but said it was a good exercise for her brain.

"When I'm stressed out, or if I feel like something's happened that maybe I'll just go about my day too normally when really I should sit down and give a few minutes.

"If something happens or you just need to give your brain a few minutes to process something - it's a good way of doing it."

When asked, Ivan Yates also opened up about his own struggles saying he wouldn't be for the "stiff upper lip".

"I reached a point, I'll never forget it, I was sitting at my minister's table, on the 23 October 1996 and I found I could not write my name.

"It was a totally scary experience, I just could not move, I could not think, I could not anything. I went to a GP and they said 'complete rest, you're totally exhausted'.

"The GP referred me to a psychotherapist and I said look 'I don't need psychotherapy, I'm the most strong person I know around here.'

"After about 10 or 12 sessions, it actually went back to...I went to boarding school at the age of eight, and I had a very difficult time, and I had completely like Harry, buried it in myself that I had no memory of this.

"It was only as the layers were peeled off that I became conscious of it. And this guy said 'You are doing things that are addictive about work and you are so driven you're running away from this incident and this little vulnerable child is now pulling you back and telling you you've got to deal with that'."

Yates spoke about his difficulties at boarding school when prompted by host Brendan O'Connor.

"I went to boarding school at the age of eight and it was completely like a fish out of water.

"I was very very homesick, there was an element of bullying and things, but I was just completely out of my depth. I was wetting the bed and different things like that, in the dormitory and it was just very, very difficult."

Yates said the experience of therapy made him a stronger person and that he had really resonated with Prince Harry.

The discussion and openness prompted praise.

O'Connor later thanked his guests for being so open.


By Steve Neville

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