St Albans panto star: 'It’s OK to not be OK - but it’s not OK to not do something about it'
- Credit: Pamela Raith
That’s the message from one of the stars of this year's Alban Arena pantomime, who is an advocate for mental health awareness.
Chizzy Akudolu, 48, made a heartfelt empowering plea from her St Albans dressing room ahead of her next appearance in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The Strictly star, who also appears on ITV’s Loose Women and BBC hospital drama Holby, posted the video for a mental health day earlier this week - a day late because she was having a pyjama day on a rare break from her hectic panto schedule.
Appearing on Twitter in her Wicked Queen costume, she told her 54k followers: “Mental Health Monday. I know today’s Tuesday. But yesterday I was in my pyjamas all day. I was so tired.
“If you’re struggling with your mental health and you haven’t spoken to anybody, use today as the day that you do speak to someone - because it’s okay to not be okay but it’s not okay to not do something about it.
“And unlike diets, which we always start on Monday and we go ‘Oh my gosh’ and we’re off the diet by Tuesday or Wednesday and we start the diet on Monday again - no, start today!
“And if you fall off, and it gets bad, pick yourself up and start again and speak to somebody.
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“Your mental health is the most important thing in the world to you. Look after it. Take care.”
Chizzy has publicly openly battled depression since she was diagnosed in 2015.
She is starring alongside St Albans’ favourite Ian Kirkby (Baron Von Badapple) in the five-star Evolution production until the first week of January.
At least one in four people will experience difficulties with their mental health.
Mental health support is available online via a number of charities, including Rethink Mental Illness, Samaritans and Mind.
You can also find advice, information and support at www.nhs.uk.