Frankie Bridge is probably best known as a member of one of the UK's most successful girl bands of all time, The Saturdays. But, more recently, it's as a mental health advocate that she has been making headlines. Her new memoir, Open: Why asking for help can save your life, is a brave and unflinchingly honest attempt to destigmatise the conditions that so many of us struggle with in private. Frankie lives with treatment-resistant depression. Initially, she struggled in silence but when she was hospitalised in 2011, she could no longer ignore the severity of what she was facing. Open tells the story of what happened next, of how she survived and of the decisions she makes on a daily basis to protect that survival.
It was an honour to have her on the podcast to talk about all of this, especially in the wake of the devastating news about Caroline Flack. I met Caroline a few years ago and she was really lovely: so warm and funny and kind. I - like many of you - have been so sad and so shaken by the idea that she could see no other way out. I cannot imagine the pain that her family and friends are feeling. I am thinking of them. Although this interview with Frankie was recorded before any of us knew what Caroline was going through, Frankie has a lot to say about the dark places that depression can take you and offers many helpful insights into how to cope.
Below are some useful numbers that can help you if you are going through a tough time or have been affected by any of the issues raised. Please know that you are not alone. Please know that, even if it doesn't feel like it right now, this too shall pass. You are loved, you are wonderful, you are unique. You are worthwhile. You exist. Please hold on.
Contact Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 116 123 (free from any phone).
If you don't feel like talking, text Shout to 85258 to get help from crisis volunteers 24/7 (free on all mobile networks).
Mind, the mental health charity, is on 020 8519 212.
Frankie Bridge's memoir, Open, is out now and available to order here.
This episode is sponsored by one of my favourite jewellery brands, Missoma. Visit uk.missoma.com and use the code ElizabethDay10 at checkout for 10% off your next purchase!
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How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email email@example.com
Elizabeth Day @elizabday
Frankie Bridge @frankiebridge