Gemma Collins made a ‘brave decision’ by agreeing to discuss her experience of self-harm in a new Channel 4 documentary, according to the broadcaster’s commissioning editor.
Lee McMurray said the upcoming film aims to ‘spark vitally important conversations’ around young people and mental health.
The former The Only Way Is Essex star will meet others who have struggled and hear their stories in Gemma Collins Self Harm & Me, which will air later this year.
Gemma will also explore how bullying, self-esteem issues and the impact of social media can contribute to young people starting to self-harm.
The reality TV favourite, who turned 40 in January, will hear from experts and learn how to identify signs of self-harm in family and friends, and get guidance on what support is available.
Made by Definitely for Channel 4, the film was commissioned by McMurray and will be executive produced by Rachel Arnold and Jon Green.
McMurray said: ‘Gemma Collins has taken the brave decision to open up about her own experience with self-harm.
‘As an instantly recognisable and relatable figure we applaud her courage in revealing her own struggles and hope this film and her insight will spark vitally important conversations around young people and self-harm.’
And Arnold, creative director of Definitely, added: ‘This isn’t Gemma as a celebrity, this is a woman being her authentic self.
‘In confronting her own demons, and trying to understand what’s behind these shocking statistics, this film will be relatable for millions of people across the country who are struggling with self-harm.’
Alex Bushill, head of media and PR at mental health charity Mind, praised both Gemma and C4 for the upcoming project, and noted how much of a difference documentaries like this can make.
He said: ‘It is good to see Channel 4 dedicating airtime to exploring mental health and self-harm, as Mind’s research has shown an increasing number of young people self-harming during the coronavirus pandemic and this can be a difficult thing to talk about or seek help for.
‘Our research at Mind has also shown that when people in the public eye speak about their mental health, it encourages others to do the same – as many as one in five people have spoken to a loved one as a direct result of seeing a celebrity speak out.
‘This demonstrates how vital it is that people in the public eye continue to speak honestly about their mental health experiences, including coping mechanisms like self-harm.’
More information about mental health charity Mind, its campaign work and the support it offers is available online.
Gemma Collins Self Harm & Me is set to air on Channel 4 later this year.