Jason Manford says anxiety and depression made him feel like he 'couldn't do his job any more'

'It's taken me this long to be brave enough to say it'

Sarah Young
Wednesday 08 May 2019 09:36
Jason Manford discusses mental healths struggle for first time

Comedian Jason Manford has opened up about his struggles with mental health for the first time.

In a video posted on Facebook on Tuesday, Manford said he wanted to let people know why he had been less active on social media in recent months.

In the caption, the 37-year-old revealed that he had been prompted to discuss his mental health problems more openly since the death of former Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis, who was found dead earlier this year aged 26.

Speaking to his 1.3 million followers, Manford said: “At the beginning of the year I had a bit of a health scare and I wouldn’t go as far as to say a breakdown, but I had a struggle mentally and I found it very difficult to deal with.

”It's taken me this long to be brave enough to say it. I've been struggling, you know, finding things hard and I think social media can sometimes not help with that.“

The stand-up comedian, from Salford, Greater Manchester, said his decision to take time away from social media had not only been prompted by abusive trolls but also because he found himself constantly comparing his life with other people's.

”Even down to just comparing your life - you see people saying what they're up to, what they're doing and their house always seems lovely and tidy and the kids seem well behaved and they always look nice and slim,“ he said.

”There are lots of reasons you compare yourself to them.“

At his lowest point, Manford revealed that he felt as though he had let his children down and that he couldn't do his job before urging people, specifically men, to talk about mental health more.

The former 8 out of 10 Cats team captain concluded his video by sharing some advice that helped him through some of his darkest moments.

“Somebody said to me ‘Just because you’re struggling, doesn’t mean you’re failing’, and I just wanted to say that to you,” Manford added.

The comedian’s video has since garnered 14,000 likes and received more than 2,000 comments from people praising him for his honesty.

“You’ve actually saved some lives with this post Jason. I know that you don’t want or need the praise, but you have. You are my hero today! Thank you,” one person commented.

Another added: “Can't have been easy for you to say that but well done! Took guts to open up like that and if only others would then many lives would be saved.”

A third wrote: “What a great video, one that I hope does go viral because so many people need to hear that message and know it’s ok to be struggling.”

For confidential support with mental health or suicidal feelings, you can contact The Samaritans on their free, 24-hour phone support by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.org.

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