Love Island’s Alex George says he felt the ‘world ended’ when he heard his young brother had died ‘from mental health'

Alex and his little brother Llŷr
Alex and his little brother Llŷr (Instagram: Dr Alex George)
16:54pm, Mon 14 Sep 2020
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Love Island star Alex George has spoken about the death of his younger brother Llŷr saying it felt like his ‘world ended’.

He said he was in ‘disbelief’ to learn his brother had died by suicide in July.

“I was at a restaurant when I found out - eating with my friends. I had a phone call with my dad and I could tell from the call I said ‘what’s happened? Who has passed away?' because you could tell something bad had happened," he told ITV’s Lorraine.

"When he said it was Llŷr the world kind of ended in that sense, the world kind of came down on my shoulders. My middle brother Elliott picked me up and we drove back to Wales. 

“We sat in silence for about five hours – and crying, shouting, and just letting out all this anguish. I went into different parts of my mind during that journey. Dark parts, to be honest, I couldn’t believe this had happened.”

George, who works as an A&E doctor, described the sort of person his brother was, describing him as ‘kind’ and a ‘mini me’. 

"We were excited for him [to start medical school], he was such a kind little boy. In some ways he was a little mini me. He had the same passions he loved medicine, science, he was a bit geeky like I am, he loved his cars as well. We shared a lot of the same hobbies.

“As a family we were proud of him, that’s why it was such a shock for all of us […] Mental health shocks me in my working career and now shocks me in my personal life. You can’t predict these things. Mental health can affect anyone.

"I felt tremendous guilt. I’m a doctor, I’m an older brother. I always wanted to protect him and look after him. What could I have done differently? I’m a mental health advocate. So it was anguish, the worst thing. 

“But mental health and physical health are akin. Just like you can have a heart attack and pass away, mental health is the same. That’s why it’s so important we treat it like that and realise it. That’s why I wanted to say he’s passed away from mental health. I wanted to be open about that. Because there’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

He concluded by encouraging those who are struggling to seek help.

“There's always a chance of a better day. Please reach out and ask for help”

If you need help, call the Samaritans helpline 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org. The US Samaritans hotline is 1 (800) 273-TALK.

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