Musician Bressie passionately discussed the lack of support for mentally ill young people yesterday, fuming that the government gives them “f**k all help.”
The Voice of Ireland star recently released his own book about his struggles called ‘Me and My Mate Jeffrey’, which has debuted at number 1 on the bestseller chart, and VIP caught up with him at the RTE2 New Season launch where he discussed the issues surrounding mental health in the country.
“There’s a lot to be done,” he said. “I’m sick of turning on the tv and hearing about mental health politics. The government is seeing teenage anxiety and gives them f**k all help. They’d rather teach you the Our Father in the morning rather than mindfulness.
“Primary schools should involve mindfulness. The more we can expose it in the media, the more of a chance we can get it in the system.”
He continued: “It has to become prioritised in our education system. Because maths and english are pointless if your head is not in the right place. Look at Scandinavian systems – it starts in schools and filters into the workplace. In Ireland it’s not enough.”
The rocker added that he grew up in perfect conditions, yet still battled with anxiety, and continues to do so. He made sure to point out that it didn’t matter if he was a popstar or former Leinster rugby player, he still struggled to deal with his feelings.
“Our perception is elite athletes are perfect – no one is perfect. When I was growing up, I had everything I needed: a great family, I was doing well in school and athletics, it didn’t matter as I didn’t know how to cope with my anxiety. Mental health is not just for the quiet guy in the corner of the pub.”
Bressie attended the launch to announce his new two-part documentary Bressie’s Iron Mind, which seeks to demonstrate the link between physical exercise and positive mental health, training four people to compete in a gruelling half-Ironman challenge.
Speaking about the show, he said it’s the most rewarding thing he’s ever done when working on tv.
“It’s probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to arrange in my life,” he said. “Most doors were closed. But it’s based on putting mental health and physical training on prime time television to see how they work together.”