Russell Brand talks addiction and mental health: “The system is not working”

The comedian is tackling the big issues in a new book and stand up show

Russell Brand has detailed his own experiences with addiction and mental illness in a new interview, and declared that “the system is not working” for the majority of people.

Speaking to the BBC, the comedian and presenter has explored the changing nature of the mental health debate, and widespread attitudes towards addiction and other forms of mental illness.

“Society is collapsing,” he explains, “and people are starting to recognise that the reason they feel like they’re mentally ill is that they’re living in a system that’s not designed to suit the human spirit.

“People are realising ‘Hold on a minute, is it natural to work 12 hours a day? Is it natural that I live in an environment that is designed for human beings from one perspective but not from a holistic perspective?’ Breathing dirty air, eating dirty food, thinking dirty thoughts. So really what this is, is a time of transition.”

Brand continues: “Yes, the conversation is changing because the communication is becoming so much more expedient, but what’s really changing is people are starting to notice that the system is not working for them.”

Russell Brand is set to celebrate the recent release of his new book, Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, with an intimate pair of stand up shows at London’s Hammersmith Apollo on November 1 – tickets for that are available here.


Back in May, Russell Brand backed Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, telling NME in a cover feature that “we might be witnessing the end of democracy.”

The famously apolitical star continued: “It makes you question whether any real change can be delivered. Having said that, if you listen to the pledges that the Labour Party are making, they are talking about collecting corporate taxes, cancelling tuition fees, getting rid of zero-hour contracts. Which is weird, because it was only two years ago that there were two centrist parties.”


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