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03rd Apr 2024

‘Roman Kemp’s honesty about losing a friend to suicide is heartbreaking but vital’

Kat O'Connor

The way Roman Kemp speaks about suicide is making a major difference

Opening up about suicide, whether it has affected you personally or if you’ve lost a loved one to it, can be so overwhelming.

Whether you’re speaking about it online or to the public, it can make you feel so vulnerable, but you know it is always worth it.

As someone who has opened up about her own experience with suicide and suicidal ideation, I really admire the way Roman Kemp speaks about it.

Our language around mental health is often very padded, especially in Ireland. We often fail to speak directly about disorders and say things like ‘she suffers with her nerves’ or ‘he’s just a little down in the dumps’.

People may feel like they’re doing the right thing by softening their language but it can often feel like we’re sugarcoating these issues.

That’s why Kemp’s honesty is so important here.

He lost his best friend, Joe, to suicide in August 2020 and has often spoken out about the loss.

In a recent interview with The Mirror, the radio presenter said one of the main reasons he was leaving Capital FM after a decade was because he was reliving the day he lost his friend over and over again.

Kemp shared: “I went through such a horrible moment in that room, in that studio. Four years on and I’ve been living that same day over and over again, without the awful event.

“That sounds wild but I mean it, it’s not normal, imagine a tragedy happened in your house you’re going to want to move.

“That’s sad that obviously affects me, but it does. Every day I walk in there and I see Joe. That’s a weird thing to do,” he added.

Losing someone to suicide is something we shouldn’t sugarcoat

Roman’s honesty about losing Joe is not only going to make others feel understood, but it helps break down a stigma.

Losing a loved one to suicide is like experiencing a dozen different emotions at once, but we often fail to discuss how hard it is.

Kemp’s honesty will undoubtedly encourage people to have these conversations if they’re also struggling.

We say it so often but there’s no shame in not being okay, but bottling it up and pretending everything is alright will only cause you more harm than good.

We should feel free to talk about the good days, the heartbreaking moments, the frustrating feelings, and everything in between.

Losing someone to suicide is hard and devastating and frustrating and overwhelming. It’s a loss you can barely wrap your head around, but it’s something we should never be afraid to talk about.

And with people like Roman Kemp leading the conversation then we’re on the right track.

If you’re struggling with suicidal ideation or any mental health issues then you can contact Samaritans on 116 123. You can also contact Text About It, the free, anonymous, 24/7 messaging service.