Kodaline’s Steve Garrigan opens up about mental health

Kirsty Dowdall

Kodaline’s frontman Steve Garrigan has recently opened up about his struggles with anxiety and is urging others to follow in his footsteps after suffering in silence with it for years.

The 31-year-old singer spoke about his experience with panic attacks and anxiety when he was younger but revealed he has since learned how to deal with them.

Garrigan alongside his girlfriend, broadcaster and author, Diana Bunici, spoke about the importance of getting people talking and communicating about mental health issues in their first interview as a couple on RTÉ’s Ray D’Arcy Show.

“At the time, I thought that, if I had told people that I’m having anxiety and panic attacks, it’s a mental illness thing, I thought that people would have looked down on me, or people would have been ashamed of it,” he said.

 “I hope at very least it encourages somebody to speak up, seek help and realise that there’s nothing to be ashamed of. There’s always a brighter day ahead.” Garrigan wrote on Instagram following his interview on The Ray D’Arcy Show.

Garrigan has been named an ambassador for Walk in My Shoes, which has been organised by St. Patrick’s mental health service to encourage dialogue and break the stigma around anxiety and depression.

He will be hosting a slot on the Walk In My Shoes pop-up radio station from 5-7pm on Thursday October 10th , World Mental Health Day.

He will also be one of many celebrities taking part in the Now We’re Talking mental health campaign, a partnership between Hot Press, Lyon’s Tea and Pieta House. 

The celebrities will contribute articles to the website and like Garrigan, speak about their own experiences with mental health issues and how they dealt with them. Others involved include Bastille’s frontman Dan Smith, singer Dermot Kennedy and Love Island presenter Caroline Flack.

But Garrigan isn’t the only man struggling with mental health issues or mental illness. According to the Movember website “around the world, the rate of male suicide is alarmingly high: 6 out of 10 suicides are men.”

In Ireland, data released in the National Office for Suicide Prevention’s (NOSP) 2018 report, of 352 suicides in 2018, 80 per cent were men.

Movember is a charity that focuses on fighting prostate and testicular cancer as well as mental health, and suicide prevention for men.

The Movember movement “looks at mental health through a male lens, focusing on prevention, early intervention and health promotion.” They plan on reducing the rate of male suicides around the wold by 25 per cent by 2030.

Movember share Garrigan’s beliefs and they are encouraging people, specifically men to speak out about how they’re feeling and are “working toward a world where men and boys are comfortable having conversations about the big things in life.”

Kirsty Dowdall

Image Credit: Evoke