CW: eating disorders, self-harm, suicide
Besides fronting Years & Years, Olly Alexander is a prolific voice when it comes to vital issues such as discussing mental health, depression and LGBT+ identity, and his latest project sees him presenting the new BBC documentary Growing Up Gay.
His Years & Years bandmates Emre Türkmen and Mikey Goldsworthy also appear in on the programme, speaking with Olly Alexander about his experiences touring in a band while managing his mental health issues.
It’s an incredibly candid documentary which sees Olly openly speaking about his past struggles with eating disorders and self-harming. “It’s hard to talk about,” he admits, “but that’s why I’m talking about it”. He also visits his childhood home, and in the process ends up accidentally debuting a very very early musical effort - a cover of TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’ filmed when he was a kid.
Olly also examines the prevalence of mental health issues in the LGBT+ community as a whole. 40% of LGBT+ people will experience a significant mental health problem at some point in their lives, compared to a quarter of the whole population. LGBT+ people are also more than twice as likely to have attempted suicide.
For more LGBT+ specific advice or information about mental health, MindOut provides support across the UK