ITV and Meghan Markle statement

9th March 2021

At SAMH, we believe that everyone has the right to be heard when it comes to mental health, suicidal thoughts and their experiences.

We know many of you have felt concerned following comments made in the media recently, in reaction to the Oprah Winfrey interveiw with Meghan and Harry.

SAMH has released this statement:

Anyone who shares their experience of suicidal thoughts and mental ill health should be treated with compassion and empathy.  We were, therefore, deeply concerned about damaging comments made by Piers Morgan yesterday in response to the interview with Meghan and Harry.  Along with charity partners we have shared our concern with ITV. 

If you or anyone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide please reach out for support.  There are people who stand ready to listen and support you, call Samaritans on 116 123.  You can also visit our website which carries information on suicide, supporting someone and living with your thoughts.

Following last night's interview with Harry and Meghan, we wanted to share some information on mental health and suicide prevention which may be useful if you or someone you care about is struggling. 

About suicidal thoughts

Thinking about suicide is not necessarily about wanting to die; it can be about not wanting to live, which is not the same thing.  It can be a feeling that you can’t keep going, it’s too painful, too difficult or you can’t see a solution to the pain or the problems.

People can live with suicidal thoughts for years. Sometimes they are constant, always there at the back of the mind, and other times they can come and go. Sometimes they get too much and there may be times you feel you need to act on those thoughts. If you feel like this then you don’t have to act on your thoughts, you can choose to keep yourself safe, and you can seek help from another person. 

If you're experiencing suicidal thoughts

Thinking about suicide is more common than you might think. It is estimated that up to 1 person in 20 is thinking about suicide at any one time - that means you're not alone. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please read our SAMH information publication, Suicide: Living With Your Thoughts.

If you think you can no longer keep yourself safe and think your life, or the life of someone you know is in danger, please seek immediate help. You can go to any hospital Accident & Emergency department. Call 999 and ask for an ambulance if you can't get to A&E, or tell someone and ask them to contact 999 for you.

If you need some support right now, but don't want to go to A&E, you can also call NHS 24 on 111, call the Samaritans on 116 123, they're open 24 hours and are there to listen. You can contact your GP for an emergency appointment too. You can also find more crisis and listening services here. 

What to do if you're worried about someone 

It can be hard to know how to help when you're worried about someone you care about. You might be struggling with how you provide the best support and work out ways you can help. You might be feeling scared, lonely and anxious. You might find our guide Suicide: Are You Worried About Someone? helpful.