Lumley tells mental health sufferers to ‘get a stiff upper lip'

Joanna Lumley
Joanna Lumley Image credit:

Dame Joanna Lumley has said there are too many people ‘jumping on the mental illness’ bandwagon and they should have a ‘stiff upper lip’ when coping with their wellbeing.

Speaking on GB News in a conversation about mental health with presenter Isabel Oakeshott, Lumley shared her controversial thoughts.

She said: ‘I have to say – this is a horrible thing to say – but I think the mental health thing is being overplayed at the moment because anybody who is even remotely sad says they have got mental problems.

‘You go, “This is what is called being human.” When someone dies and you grieve, that’s human. That’s what being a human is. You’re not mentally ill.

‘And I think it also is awful to people who really are mentally ill or are properly clinically depressed, for everybody to say they’ve got to have some sort of special treatment.

‘And everyone’s claiming the mental illness bandwagon and I think that’s wrong.

‘Although much derided, the stiff upper lip and not blubbing and trying to get on with it…’

She added: ‘Just get a grip! Do you know what I mean? Of course some of you are going to feel bloody awful and some of you may well be suicidal or mentally depressed, that’s a different thing.

‘But anybody who just goes, “Oh burr” – you just think, “Get over it.”‘

Lumley’s views were supported by Piers Morgan, who tweeted: ‘LOVE this…Of course, when I’ve regularly said similar stuff, I’ve been branded a heartless monster.

‘Perhaps now a national treasure like Dame Joanna’s said it, people may understand it’s actually a good thing to show mental resilience & a bit of “stiff upper lip.””

Lumley has her own history suffering from mental health after suffering a breakdown in her 20s when she was struggling to cope bringing up her son as a single mother.

For support and advice visit the Mind website.