The Capital FM DJ and One Show presenter has been open about his struggle with depression
Roman Kemp appearing on The News Agents (Image: The News Agents/Instagram)
Roman Kemp has been praised for his honesty after giving a candid update about his health. The Capital FM DJ appeared on podcast The News Agents and spoke to journalist Emily Maitlis about the need for young people to be equipped to manage their mental wellbeing.
Martin Kemp's son, who was recently announced as a permanent presenter on The One Show with co-host Alex Jones and Jermaine Jenas, has been open about his struggle with depression after the death of his close friend and Capital FM producer Joe Lyons.
The 30-year-old, who has hosted his own breakfast show on the radio station since 2017, lost his colleague to suicide in August 2020, aged 31. In 2021, Roman presented a BBC Three documentary exploring the mental health crisis facing young men and revealed he had considered taking his own life after battling depression for more than a decade.
Roman, who finished in third place on the 19th series of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here in 2019, also recently issued a plea to the Government to improve mental health support for young people. He detailed that he began suffering with depression aged just 15.
Speaking to Maitlis, he said: "It's such a difficult area for me to talk from because I am the definition of silver spoon, the definition of privileged. I had every hug that a son could get from their mum and dad.
"My parents are still together. I went to private schools.
"I got every present, everything I ever wanted. And yet there I was in a position where I felt like it's pointless me being here.
"I didn't want to be here anymore. And it wasn't for me. Life wasn't really for me."
He said he believed there were "aspects" to his struggle that could have a "chemical" cause, and that when he didn't take tablets he saw a "regression" in his mental health. After being asked by Maitlis whether he thought he would be on medication for life, he responded: "I don't care, is my honest answer. If it makes me happy.
"If a doctor came in now and told me 'Roman, you've been taking a placebo for 15 years'... great. I'll carry on."
Speaking about the help needed for young people, Roman went on: "What these mental health support teams do is they arm them, they teach them, and that's what needs to happen. What do you do when you have a panic attack?
"What does that mean? How is your brain working?
"How do I alleviate that pressure? That's what these amazing people can do."
His words attracted praise from News Agents listeners who left comments on the podcast's Instagram page. @ursiesday said: "So well spoken and articulate. Well done Roman for sharing your thoughts. A great help to others."
@maggie1barker wrote: "Brave honest perceptive & generous young man. A gift we can all learn from."
@nualagermaine said: "Roman so impressed with your honesty. I'm sure this will help others."
@rg_ducky1975 commented: "Thank you so much for being so honest and brave in sharing your experience and what you have truthfully felt inside inspire of the guilt. This will help so many people."
And @gillkeegan said: "This is so wonderful - such honesty and incredible kindness."
A Little Thought:
Roman Kemp is an inspirational young man and a voice of reason.
He has lost friends due to mental health and likewise addressed his own health with the help of his family and professionals.
Mental Health is something that can be very cleverly hidden, I know from my own family experience, we need to be able to encourage more to talk about it and open up, seek help and have no fear or shame in doing so.
The government is missing something in not using his voice and popularity to its full potential.