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UK’s biggest artists star in NHS mental health campaign

Video still issued by NHS England (from top left clockwise) of songwriter Laura Mvula, The Wanted's Max George, singer Craig David, singer Ella Henderson, Girls Aloud singer Nicola Roberts and singer Tom Grennan, who are helping to launch a new NHS mental health campaign by appearing in a video reciting words from The Beatles song Help!, to encourage people struggling with their mental health to seek support. I

By Ellie Iorizzo, Senior Entertainment Reporter PA

Girls Aloud pop star Nicola Roberts and singers Craig David and Tom Grennan are among the famous faces featuring in a new NHS mental health campaign reciting words from The Beatles song Help!

The landmark campaign encourages people struggling with their mental wellbeing to seek support.

In the video, stars including The Wanted’s Max George, Ella Henderson and songwriter Laura Mvula recite the lyrics to John Lennon’s famous track.

The classic soundtrack, written by the Beatles superstar in 1964, includes the lyrics “Help me if you can, I’m feeling down” and were donated by Sony Music and Apple Corps for the campaign’s rendition.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 2.3 million people have signed up for talking therapies with the NHS.

Girls Aloud musician Roberts said: “I’m someone that has benefited hugely from talking therapy.

“I think there is such a taboo around it that people almost feel like they’ve failed or they weren’t strong enough to figure out a situation by themselves.

“But if you’re feeling like you can’t see the wood for the trees or light at the end of the tunnel, it’s imperative to reach out because you can’t always do it alone.

“It’s about saying this is what is happening to me, it’s not my fault, but my happiness matters and I’m going to put my hand up and say I need some help.

“I wouldn’t be where I am now without therapy.”

The NHS are encouraging those suffering with their mental health to try talking therapies, a confidential service run by fully-trained experts, which can be accessed by self-referral or through your GP.

Mvula added: “Through my own personal experience of when I had therapy on the NHS, it did so much for my emotional wellbeing just to know that someone was truly caring for me on a regular basis.

“It helped me see that things are temporary and however bad and permanent your situation feels, reaching out and sharing with someone you can trust is so important.

“It’s okay to ask for help – everybody needs it.”

The NHS is boosting its community mental health services by £2.3 billion a year, which will improve access to talking therapies.

NHS mental health director Claire Murdoch said: “The pandemic has taken a toll on the nation’s mental health, and we know January can be a particularly tough month for many.

“Over a million people already use NHS talking therapies every year, but we know we can help millions more just by telling them it’s there for them and that is exactly what this campaign is all about.

“If you are experiencing anxiety, stress, or are feeling low, it’s important you know you are not alone and that it is OK to get help. No-one should suffer in silence.

“NHS staff have pulled out all the stops throughout the pandemic to keep mental health care services open, and it’s fantastic to see some of the biggest names in music back our campaign and encourage people to get the support they need.”

The star-studded campaign is backed by charities Mind, Royal College of Psychiatrists and Age UK.

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