East 17’s Brian Harvey discusses struggles with depression and mental illness

'Desperation takes over,' the former pop star says in an interview with Labour MP Simon Danczuk

Ex-East 17 singer Brian Harvey has spoken out about his history of mental illness and depression.

As The Guardian reports, the former pop star was recently interviewed by Labour MP Simon Danczuk for LBC Radio, which will air tonight (March 29) at 5.35pm GMT.

In the interview, Harvey, 40, discusses an incident that occurred five weeks ago which saw him storming out of a hospital and contemplating suicide. Harvey says: “I could have walked out of that place that night, walked off and jumped off a bridge. Because, I tell you what: I felt like it.”

The singer continues: “We need a walk-in centre specifically designed for when, in the middle of the night, someone thinks ‘I am going to hang myself’ or ‘I am going to a forest and jump out of a tree with a noose around my neck’, because I have thought of all these things. Desperation takes over.”

Harvey claims to have suffered from depression for 13 years and states that he finds life difficult around the Christmas period due to his former band’s hit song ‘Stay Another Day’ being played heavily during the festive season.

“We sold 18 million records and the frustrating thing for me is that I have to sit there every Christmas and listen to myself while I don’t even have the money for a Christmas dinner,” Harvey says. “I am sitting here eating a cold chicken burger on Christmas Day. You have got this number one record … I am just rattling around in a cold house with no food, on my own, with my record being played – but you are just a no one.”

Labour MP Danczuk has criticised the music industry for “chewing up and spitting out” stars. Danczuk says: “[Labels] are lobbying for financial incentives to make more money, which I understand. But at no time are they doing anything to support creators who struggle with mental illness… Brian was introduced to drugs by the industry. He might have dabbled early on but was introduced to hard drugs by people in the industry.”

“That’s not looking after his welfare. Compare the music industry to the football industry, where they are now waking up to this. [Former England stars] Paul Gascoigne and Kenny Sansom get the help they need if they want it. The music industry compares very poorly.”

Harvey recently made headlines when he smashed up his gold and platinum record collection in a video posted in protest at the music industry.
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