The hashtag #cutforZayn began trending on Twitter in the hours after the announcement of Malik’s departure, featuring messages of sadness expressed by One Direction fans mixed with others mocking them.
Now, a spokesperson from Mind has said that it is “vital to recognise the huge danger created by any site or social media trend that promotes self-harm”.
A statement from Mind reads: “Upsetting life events can spark feelings of distress or anxiety and it’s important to seek help if you are going through a difficult time. While friends and family may be your first port of call, Mind’s website has comprehensive information on depression, self-harm and other mental health problems, and the Samaritans provide a phone and email service.”
“Used in a positive way, social media can play a useful role in a person’s wider support network. However, it is vital to recognise the huge danger created by any site or social media trend that promotes self-harm.”
“Self-harm is an incredibly serious problem and should never be trivialised. We urge those using Twitter or other social media sites at this time not to engage with posts that promote harmful behaviour, and to report any activity that causes them concern.”
A statement issued by the band yesterday (March 25) confirmed Malik’s departure and that the group will continue without him. “After five incredible years Zayn Malik has decided to leave One Direction,” the statement read. “Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis will continue as a four-piece and look forward to the forthcoming concerts of their world tour and recording their fifth album, due to be released later this year.”
Malik himself added: “My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I’d like to apologise to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.”
Rumours about Malik’s future in the band were abound after he recently pulled out of the group’s Asian tour (March 19) so he could fly back to the UK to be with his family after pictures emerged of him with a mystery girl in Thailand. Malik is currently engaged to Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards.
Meanwhile, Zayn Malik’s sister has asked fans to “pray for my brother”.