Alex George details his well-being journey and urges people to 'reflect' on World Mental Health Day
By SEAMLESS DAILY
11 October 2021
He may have rocketed to fame following his appearance on Love Island in 2018.
But three years on, Dr Alex George has proved relentlessly that he was destined to embark on a journey outside of the world of reality television.
'When I was going through school and university, I didn't feel like I had the understanding of how to actually look after myself,' he admitted.
Live Well Every Day is out now.
i noticed it doesn't get my day in the right rhythm and i didn't feel as good.
'If it's someone you wouldn't ask an opinion of, why would you take the criticism ? '
When asked what's in the pipeline, he joked :' I try to look at just one day in advance at the moment ! '
'Social media can be really powerful but you need to use it in the right way.
For confidential 24 support in the UK, call Samaritans on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.
"A siren goes off in our control room when there's a category 1 call, one where there ’ s an immediate threat to life.
and during the covid pandemic it felt like it was going off constantly.
Being an ambulance dispatcher is already a stressful job, when every day you see and hear things that most people don't see in their lifetimes.
A couple of people have even taken their own life while on the phone.
I remember on one shift when I was dispatching during the second lockdown when so many people weren't breathing that for the first time in my career I didn ’ t know what to do.
In 2019 my best friend, also an emergency dispatcher, took his own life.
I asked for more therapy sessions but I was declined because there were so many other staff on the waiting list for mental health support.
When you 're spending so much time dealing with suicides and deaths, you become negative.
I began to feel so low and unable to cope, like I was in a bottomless pit I couldn ’ t get out of.
i started having anxiety attacks before going on."
I worried constantly if I would have enough ambulances and crews, and about my staff too, who were terrified.
I felt like the worst person when I had to send them to a Covid patient as we weren't quite sure what we were sending them to.
After every shift I would call my friend and just start crying, even though I didn't know exactly why I was crying.
I'm grateful for the therapy I did get though, the weekly phone calls with a psychologist made me a stronger person and I don ’ t know where I ’ d be without them.
if you are struggling or you are worried about a loved one, contact samaritans on 116123.
' I lost interest in exercise, I wasn't going outside, my sleep was all over the place, I was eating terribly, wasn ’ t speaking to friends or doing anything I actually enjoyed, ’ says the A & E doctor — and former Love Islander — from Carmarthen, Wales.
'When I spoke to my mum about it, she said : "We need to get you doing the things that make you feel good".
It made a huge difference.
Passionate about his day job, he returned to A & E ( 'going back was the best thing I ever did' ).
Alex had already been to No.10 to talk to Theresa May about mental health in schools following his earlier experiences but his brother's death was the push to step up campaigning.
That is very hard to accept and it still is a problem.
Young men particularly seem to really struggle to speak out about mental health.
'In the last year we 've spoken more about mental health and wellbeing than we have in the last decade, which is undoubtedly a positive thing in terms of making progress.
But we ’ ve got to keep that momentum up now. ’ His plan with the government is to set up early support hubs for those with emerging mental health needs before they meet the threshold for CAMHS ( Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services ).
He wants more early, easy-access services where a referral is not needed.
‘ People can actually access support at the point where things start becoming an issue, rather than when they become a much bigger problem. ’ He admits the mental health sector is a complicated space, particularly when it comes to funding.
‘ I knew I was passionate about mental health, it ’ s something I ’ ve seen a lot of in A & E.
At least a third of our workload relates to mental health. ’ So what to do when things are not too shipshape?
' I think it's sticking to the suggested routines, knowing what helps you, ’ he says.
It takes time to move forward so spend time with people who respect your boundaries. ’ Some benefited in lockdown from better sleep, others had worse, with raised levels of anxiety because their routine went out the window.
Remove blue lights an hour before bed.
It could be reading a book, playing guitar, anything you want.
we 've been pushing people to go to the gym but it can stick to.
For a quick workout, I roll out a yoga mat and put on Joe Wicks.
One of the things we 've learned from the pandemic is the importance of nature — being outside in green spaces.
A morning walk sets a circadian rhythm and is great for your sense of calm.
New data, released under the Freedom of Information Act, and seen by the Mirror, shows there's been a 150 % increase in ambulances bringing patients to A & E departments due to a mental health issue.
The next night, another worried friend called 111, who sent an ambulance, but this time the paramedics took her to where her mental health team are based, in the hope they could look into her medication.
Over the years she has used CBT and grounding techniques, but also relies on keeping herself busy, and having a full social calendar- obviously impossible during lockdown.
The Department of Health and Social Care pointed to its upcoming plans.
For more advice visit nhs.uk or www.mind.org.uk
Stay up to date with our posts
Seamless Daily is an innovative news platform that is updated 24/7 to help you keep up to date with all the current events around the globe.
Our team of professional editors as well as our state-of-the-art artificial intelligence platforms ensure that our curation is accurate, fact-checked, and trustworthy.