Dr Alex George wants to tackle the stigma around taking medication for health problems, and he’s starting with a social media campaign.
In a brave Instagram post, Alex, 30, shared that he takes medication to manage his anxiety, alongside therapy and practising self care.
He said he ‘really needed this treatment’ but didn’t access it for ‘years’ as he feared ‘what people would think.’
Determined for no other person to live in shame for taking medication, Alex is challenging his followers to post photos of their pills to show they are ‘proud’ to ‘take control’ of their health.
‘So many people live with medication stigma every day, a fear that they will be judged as being weak or discriminated against, simply for taking a pill to help with their mental health.
‘The other day I did a poll on my stories and 75% of you have faced medication stigma. That is so sad,’ he wrote.
He continued his empowering post: ‘I can tell you now, I am not ashamed. I AM PROUD to take control of my own health. This does not make me weak or less able, it makes me stronger.’
He clarified that he is not saying ‘medication is the answer for everyone,’ but that anyone who needs it ‘should have access without barriers or shame.’
The former Love Island star encouraged his two million followers to ‘take a stand against medication stigma’ and share their own pics with the hashtag ‘#postyourpill.’
The mental health ambassador has received an overwhelming response so far, reposting some of the snaps on his story.
He also filmed a video from his car where he reminded viewers that they ‘have a right to feel happy’ and he is ‘proud’ of them for taking charge over their physical and mental well-being.
Alex’s page has since been flooded with fans sharing their experiences with medication stigma, thanking him for utilising his platform.
‘Wonderful words, this will help so many people,’ one wrote.
Another commented: ‘This is so important and means so much for you to post this. I’m completely similar, suffered for years needlessly as a result. Thank you for all you’re doing.’
Alex is the UK Youth Mental Health Ambassador for the UK government.
After rising to fame in the villa, he returned to his job as an A&E doctor and, after suffering personal tragedy when his younger brother, Llyr George, took his own life following a mental health struggle become a mental health campaigner.
He recently fronted a BBC documentary about young people’s mental health for Children In Need titled, Dr Alex: Our Mental Health Crisis.
The documentary is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
Need support for your mental health?
You can contact mental health charity Mind on 0300 123 3393 or text them on 86463.
Mind can also be reached by email at [email protected]
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