Olly Alexander on Mental Health

Olly Alexander
Olly Alexander Image credit:

Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander has expressed his disappointment towards the government over the NHS cuts which will affect those coping with mental health conditions.

The singer told The Guardian newspaper he struggled with panic disorder and anxiety as a child. In the interview Alexander said: "I always had really, really bad nightmares, like night terrors or whatever they’re called.

“I used to wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to move... I’d hallucinate and have really scary visions and dreams, so I wouldn’t want to sleep.""The first thing you start to think is you’re alone and you’re crazy. There is a support network out there... make use of it.

He went on to discuss the NHS and how the cuts will affect patients: "I care about mental health a lot. It’s affected me and my family a lot, and it annoys me there’s not enough provided and stuff has been cut... When I started trying to get a counsellor on the NHS about 10 years ago, there was a six-week waiting list. And now, I’m told, it’s like three months – it can be – or longer... it feels like mental health is the first thing to get cut".

The pop star also revealed he attended Cognitive Behavioural Sessions on the NHS, although Olly confessed: “They were really difficult to get. Really hard to get hold of. They took a really long time and because I was not very proactive in getting them – because the initial stage was phone conversations, and I would not pick up the phone, I didn’t really want to go, and I didn’t know if I really wanted to talk to someone about it.”

However Olly said the sessions were “Really Helpful”. He added: “CBT does really help you try and relearn ways in which you can deal with those moments of panic or crisis.”

Last December Olly spoke about his condition to Attitude Magazine and the support he receives from his bandmates. He told the publication: "They write me letters a lot of the time and give them to me at shows, or they’ll tweet it at me or write on Instagram,

"So many of them deal with mental issues, mental distress and it’s really so overwhelming... but it’s mostly positive."