Joe Wicks says millions of parents are suffering from mental health issues after lockdown | Joe Wicks

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Joe Wicks said he realized the scale of the mental health crisis in the UK when he was inundated with messages from fans during the lockdown, saying he sometimes spent seven hours a day answering calls help.

The 36-year-old fitness trainer, known as The Body Coach, will explore his parents’ mental health struggles in a new documentary, examining how his mother’s eating disorder and severe obsessive-compulsive disorder and the His father’s drug addiction affected him as a child. .

Joe Wicks: Facing My Childhood, was produced by documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux, who previously revealed Wicks’ exercise regimen was one of the things that helped him cope during lockdown.

Wicks told the Radio Times: “After [YouTube series] PE with Joe finished, I realized that I hadn’t just helped people’s physical health, but also their mental health. I wanted to continue this conversation.

“When I was young, I didn’t know my parents had mental health issues. I just thought my dad was a drug addict and my mom loved cleaning. But I was aware that I had this ability to share my story and hoped it would inspire people.

The fitness and nutrition specialist revealed that as a child he used exercise to relax and avoid the atmosphere at home.

He said, “If I hadn’t exercised, I would have been a nightmare. No one could have controlled me. Physical education was the one subject I looked forward to, as it helped me focus. »

Wicks revealed that he had received little therapy himself, apart from a few family counseling sessions as a child, and the documentary was the deepest he had delved into his past.

Learning from his experience of being kept in the dark, Wicks hoped children could be better informed about their parents’ mental health.

He said: “Millions of parents are experiencing mental health issues, especially post-lockdown. They get carried away and try to be brave and happy, but inside they’re probably falling apart. When parents move away, children become withdrawn.

Wicks said he discovered the depth of the country’s mental health issues after being inundated with messages from fans during the lockdown. He sometimes spent up to seven hours a day responding to the thousands of messages and calls for help he received.

“Helping people is addictive. When I open my phone and go to Instagram, I’m not just going to see a cat video. I’m going to see a DM [direct message] of someone in need. This feeling of helping someone is energizing, but it also exhausts me. It’s overwhelming to take it all on. »

The documentary will air on BBC One on May 16.

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