Concerns around O’Connor’s mental health were raised after she shared a Facebook video revealing that she was experiencing suicidal thoughts – adding “I am only one of millions and millions and millions of people who are just like me”.
Now in an episode of his Youtube series ‘The Trews’, Brand has opened up about the problems facing the singer, and countless other individuals – asking ‘do we live in a mentally ill system?’
“It’s interesting to look at this in the context of the career that Sinead O’Connor had,” said Brand. “She was a very beautiful, searing person with the great gift of this voice, but always accompanied with a kind of intensity, the moments of controversy.
“Clearly she’s a person that’s been conflicted, and as we’ve said before: How could you not be conflicted in this world. There are so many conflicting messages. I’ve noticed a lot when dealing with people that have got self-declared mental issues, that they are seemingly quite sensitive and intuitive, a little bit raw. They’ve exposed a lot of their gift to the world, and I think it can be a hard thing to carry.”
He continued: “Blessedly, I have not felt the way that she looks like she feels for a while. But for me that feeling and memory of that is, ‘you best give me some drugs’ when I feel that kind of level of dread, terror, alienation and purposelessness. ”
The actor, writer and comedian went on to compare her suffering to that of Chester Bennington and how his behaviour seemed like ‘a prelude to suicide’, and the different ‘schools of thought that there are ways to get better’.
Speaking of O’Connor’s video, he added: “The same way as you could Donald Trump as some carbuncle avatar for American rage, Sinead O’Connor here seems to be demonstrably the strangled and unappreciated female – the goddess energy that is cloaked and choked and unexpressed. Who is somewhat discarded, fated temporarily when alloyed and allied to fame and fortune, but now in some hotel room abandoned and broadcasting her misery as some sort of last morsel of entertainment.
“Really, what Sinead O’Connor needs, like anyone else suffering with mental health issues needs, is connection, meaning, purpose, love and a bit of time really.”
Concluding that a society built on expectations leads to ‘mental ill systems creating mentally ill people’, Brand added: “I suppose ultimately we have to hope, pray in fact, that Sinead O’Connor gets better, and that the world gets better”.
A message was later posted on O’Connor’s Facebook page by an individual seemingly close to the singer. It stated that Sinead is “safe” and “not suicidal”, adding that she is “surrounded by love and receiving the best of care”.
“She asked for this to be posted knowing you are concerned for her,” the message added. “I hope this comforts those of you were concerned.”