New Order speak out over “disgusting” lack of funding for young people with mental health issues

'Young kids have been abandoned'

New Order have hit out at the government for the “disgusting” lack of funding to help young people with mental health issues – claiming that many ‘young kids have been abandoned’.

Frontman Bernard Sumner was talking to Sky News when he opened up about attitudes and care for those battling mental health issues, drawing parallels with his late Joy Division bandmate Ian Curtis taking his own life in 1980. Curtis had also been battling epilepsy in his final years.

“I’m not just talking about epilepsy but mental health issues for young people especially school kids it’s criminally underfunded,” said Sumner. “When the coalition government former, after the banking crisis in 2008, they underfunded the NHS and they completely underfunded help for young people with mental issues.”

Sumner continued: “And it’s still the same way and it’s young kids at school that really, really need help and they’ve just been abandoned. And that’s going to create a time bomb for this government and this country – attention needs to be brought to it. It’s disgusting.”

Joy Division’s late frontman, Ian Curtis.

Speaking of the death of Curtis, Sumner went on to say that he doubted he would have handled the following years had he not taken his own life.

“It’s obviously incredibly sad what happened and we wish Ian could have been around to enjoy all of this,” Sumner continued. “But to be honest, I don’t think his health was intact enough for him to be able to stand the rigours of touring, because it can be pretty punishing.

“It can be pretty tough, pretty exhausting and I don’t think Ian’s health was in a fit state to do any of that so there would have been some kind of implosion that happened.”

Drummer Stephen Morris went on to say that there had been a positive change in attitudes towards battling the stigma that surrounds discussing mental health.

He said: “Ian had epilepsy and it’s an illness people have got much better at understanding nowadays and it’s great that people are aware of all kinds of mental illness from getting really depressed to schizophrenia.

“It’s much better understood than it was in the 70s. And I think that kind of attitude affected Ian a little bit because he had it and he knew that that was an attitude that existed at the time and thank god we’ve moved on a bit.”

Meanwhile, New Order’s new documentary ‘Decades‘ will air this weekend. During the film, the band are seen preparing with the artist Liam Gillick and a 12-piece synthesiser orchestra ahead of their performance at Manchester International Festival 2017. The documentary also promises to take a look back the past too, offering an unprecedented take on their story by including interviews with some of their closest collaborators.

‘Decades’ will air on Sky Arts at 9pm on Saturday September 22.

The band have also announced their only UK gig of 2018. New Order play London’s Alexandra Palace on November 9 – with tickets  available here.