Praise for Snow Patrol star Gary Lightbody opening up on depression

Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody
Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody

Mental health campaigners in Northern Ireland have welcomed the decision by Snow Patrol front man Gary Lightbody to open up about his struggle with depression.

The Northern Irish music star said he had been battling the condition since he was a teenager and that he “used to think about not existing” in an interview with The Telegraph newspaper.

The depression charity Aware NI, who were started in Londonderry, have hailed the Co Down man’s “bravery and openness” for coming forward with his struggle.

“Winston Churchill had a great name for depression: his black dog,” the Snow Patrol singer said.

“I think that was probably it. It was just an animal of some sort that just lived with me. And that frightened me.”

Speaking separately on BBC Radio 2, he said: “Plenty of people reached out to me to try and find me in my darkness.”

Aware NI’s Carolyn Blair said: “We were so delighted to see the coverage on Gary Lightbody and commend him for his bravery and openness.

“Gary has been kind enough on occasion to work with us before.”

The charity recently launched a campaign to encourage people to talk about the illness.

Bernard McAnaney, chair of the Aware NI board of trustees, said: “Our campaign showcases the fact that ‘depression doesn’t always look like depression’.

“So often people experience signs and symptoms of depression most significantly a decreased pleasure in activities they formerly enjoyed; when they are not aware, they subsequently fail to seek help.”