Let's Talk: U2's Adam Clayton Urges Men To Speak Up

Bell Let’s Talk Day, which this year falls on Jan. 31, is designed to end stigma and start a conversation about mental health.

It’s also a day to raise funds to support mental health initiatives across the country.

In recent years, a number of music stars have opened up about their personal battles with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.

They include U2 bassist Adam Clayton.

“For a lot of people, the minute they get the blues or they get dragged, down, it can affect their life. It can affect their relationships and it can be catastrophic,” Clayton told RTE in 2016.

“About any kind of medical issue, particularly men, we don’t like talking to anyone about it or going to a doctor. In the case of mental health issues, you don’t have to say, ‘Well, I’m depressed, or I’m officially depressed.’ You just have to say, ‘I’m feeling a bit wonky, I feel a little broken, and I wanna talk to someone about it.’”

The 57-year-old British rock musician opened up about his struggle with mental health issues.

"I relied too much on alcohol and other things to get me through. I pretty much had a eureka moment. I was fed up of the way I felt constantly. In my particular case, it was difficult for me not to go, 'You've got a great life, what's wrong with you'. Eventually I got fed up with feeling fed up,” he explained to RTE.

"Eventually a few friends who'd been through alcohol and drug treatment said, 'You can get over this, you can feel better'. At the root of addiction, certainly in my case, was a mental issue. It's how I approached the day. I was able to get help and revise my thinking and turn that around. I'm a much happier bunny now.”

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Clayton stressed that mental illness is curable.

"It is not something that you have to live with for the rest of your life,” he said. “It is not something that will stop you being part of the workforce. But you do have to talk to people about it and you do have to get help. And you can recover.”

Last year, Clayton helped raise awareness about depression and suicide among young men.

“Anything we can do to help those people realize that there is help available and that they can lift the phone and get help - is great." 

Bell Let’s Talk is an initiative of Bell Media, parent company of iHeartRadio in Canada.