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Mental Health Awareness Week

Kemp: Opening up helped my mental health

14 May 2022

Broadcaster tells Arsenal's Per Mertesacker how he turned to family and friends during tough times

Disclaimer: This article and video makes references to suicide.

In the third of a series of videos of Per Mertesacker and Roman Kemp talking about mental health, the pair discuss depression and dealing with anxiety.

Kemp, who presents the breakfast show on Capital FM, reveals how he had his own mental struggles.

"I would be driving into work and I'd see billboards with my face on it and I'd be smiling and happy," he says.

"But really, I'm in the worst place I've ever been in in my life. And I wouldn't even want to get up in the morning."

Kemp says his mum and a close circle of friends from his childhood helped him open up to deal with these difficult moments.

"I was very fortunate in the sense that my mum was a massive driving force in terms of opening up about my emotions," he says. "I [also] had that core friend group and they became my team-mates, I guess.

"You see a lot of artists or actors... lose those friends and lose sight of who they really are.

"If you're going through something, it's really difficult to bring it back.

"That's why some of the things that I've been trying to do is opening up a discussion and being able to talk about your feelings and telling someone that it's OK to say that you feel sad."

Kemp also talks about how the suicide of a close friend affected him and how important it is not to expect someone who feels bad to reveal their feelings.

"It's us as friends, us as team-mates, to see those other people and say, 'Really, how are you?'

"That classic thing of, you know, asking someone twice, 'Are you OK?'"

To access the Premier League's growing library of expert advice and top tips from players to support positive mental and physical health, visit our #StayWell hub.

Also in this series

Part 1: UK football family reaffirms commitment to mental health
Part 2: McAtee: Team-mates can help your mental health
Part 3: Lennon: I didn't realise there was so much help around
Part 4: Mertesacker: Wellbeing support is crucially important
Part 5: Mertesacker: We need to be able to express our feelings
Part 6: Premier League managers unite to tackle suicide
Part 7: Ruddy: Mental health project helps people let off steam
Part 9: 'Saints Foundation has been a lifeline for me'

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