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Open Up: Stephen Fry urges 'human beating hearts' of Norfolk to speak about men's mental health

PUBLISHED: 10:22 18 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:47 20 June 2019

Stephen Fry, in his exclusive video recorded for this newspaper. Photo: Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry, in his exclusive video recorded for this newspaper. Photo: Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry

Actor Stephen Fry has said Norfolk people have "human beating hearts and we care for those around us" as he threw his weight behind this newspaper's bid to urge men to open up about their mental health.

Mr Fry, who has lived with mental health problems for much of his life but was not diagnosed with bipolar disorder until he was 37, recorded an exclusive video to support the cause.

In it he said: "Norfolk people are perhaps well known for keeping themselves to themselves, we're not the most effusive, we're very rarely confused with Italians, but we have human beating hearts and we care for those around us."

Mr Fry, who moved to Booton with his family in 1965 and went to Cawston Primary School and City College Norwich, said: "You're probably aware that mental health has - as it were - entered the national conversation.

"And as a lifelong lover of Norfolk and East Anglia I know that beautiful as the region is it is not exempt - at all - from the problems mental health can cause.

Stephen Fry. Picture: Matthew Usher.Stephen Fry. Picture: Matthew Usher.

"And we're concentrating on especially - you, me, and the EDP - on the crisis in men's health.

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"As you probably know suicide rates have rocketed in the area.

"It's distressing and depressing in some ways as news but talking, helping, being aware, these things make an enormous difference.

"And if you see the signs in someone you love, in someone you know, of a mental health problem, of a distress, of an unhappiness, of an unease that is beyond the normal stresses and strains of every day living then do reach out and urge them to look for medical help."

He added: "Maybe it is worth believing that serious as mental health is - and it is very serious problem for many people - it is also possible to live with mental health disorders to live a fully happy, contented, loved and loving, fulfilling life.

"I'm right behind this campaign from the EDP and I hope you are too."

Mr Fry has spoken out about mental health, and the stigma surrounding it, for a number of years.

Over the next four days this newspaper will be sharing the stories of men, their families, and health professionals, to show it is okay for men to talk about mental health.

- To share your story and get involved, tweet or send us a video using the hashtag #EDPOpenUp and tag @EDP24 - you can also email geraldine.scott@archant.co.uk.

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