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'Our Silent Emergency' - Roman Kemp's Documentary on Suicide & Mental Health

It was a deeply personal documentary following Roman after his best friend took his life. Many people (myself included) were in tears from the very start and this documentary resonated and really hit home with many people.

Roman bared his emotions to the camera and spoke candidly about the situation (Image: BBC Screengrab)

The male suicide rate in 2019 was the highest ever since 2000 according to the Office for National Statistics.

Roman Kemp's documentary Our Silent Emergency follows Roman as he explores the mental health and suicide crisis gripping young men across the UK.

This has been a pandemic for years and since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic, mental health & suicide has become an ever-growing conversation, something which needed to happen a long time ago, especially when it comes to Men talking about their feelings/mental health.

In August 2020, Roman’s life changed dramatically with the sudden death of his best friend Joe Lyons.

The former I'm A Celeb star and Capital FM host realised that his friend Joe, a radio producer, had not come to work.

Joe's suicide was later revealed and spread across the nation.

This broke Roman and he understandably had to take time off work.

He posted a photo of him and Joe on Instagram with a heart-warming tribute:

(Image: Roman Kemp Instagram)

It read:

"You will always be my brother, my best mate and my partner."
"Everyday I’m missing seeing you and just wish I could show you how many people know you’re the best. You taught me everything I know, I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for you sat by my side for the last 6 years.
"I can only hope I gave you the same love, loyalty and outrageous amounts of fun that you gave me.
"We have so many memories that span from sharing beds in the middle of nowhere to dancing on tables to breaking world records.
"I’m sorry I haven’t stopped texting you and sending you memes. We were only just starting our adventure together but I’m going to take you along with me for the rest of it, flying that flag for the both of us.
"I love you more than I can ever explain. See you soon mate."

Roman investigates the issue of young men’s mental health, exploring why increasing numbers are taking their own lives and the reasons why so many of them never ask for help.

He explained how he had no idea his friend was suffering at the time.

At the beginning of the show Roman says, with clear tears in his eyes, "It isn't just a coincidence that day the police force found seven other men, Joe's age, in that situation."

Roman's voice throughout the film is full of emotion, from when he describes first meeting Joe in London to tributes of men who committed suicide right at the end.

During the show he encourages those involved to seek help, preventative measures, and emphasises the lasting impact mental health and suicide has on relatives.

Roman also revealed he had been taking medically prescribed drugs to reduce his anxiety for 12 years.

His male interviewees of different backgrounds broke down in tears during his social distanced interviews showing the vulnerability of men, not often broadcast on television.

"I don't think I'll be able to truly understand where I was at in my own head," (Image: BBC Screengrab)

The documentary grabbed the attention across the whole of social media and so many were very emotional having watched it.

One man said: "Congratulations on such a powerful documentary. Tear-jerking is an understatement. I have no doubt you should be proud of what you have brought to the attention of people."

Another commented: "I work in mental health, and the feeling of being a burden is a red flag. Tell friends they are loved, and that your life would be worse without them in it."

A woman echoed everyone's sentiments: "Omg I’m crying my eyes out already watching Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency! It’s soo sad."

One man had taken action immediately having watched five minutes of the film saying "I’ve already checked in with all the boys," showing the impact that the BBC documentary was having already.

Roman concluded that "to stop young men suffering needlessly in silence, mental health needs to be destigmatised." He decided to deploy to his sizeable social media following to encourage his fans to check in on their mates. The response was immediate and cautiously encouraging.

This was a powerful look at a mental health emergency that’s in danger of scarring a generation. As Kemp kept reiterating, "it’s OK to not be OK. Please just try to tell someone."

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