RYAN Thomas revealed his close friend took his own life during lockdown.
The former Coronation Street star, 36, said he was “shocked” by the news as his pal was out for dinner the night before.
Now Ryan is embarking on a 262-mile walk from London to his home city of Manchester to raise awareness and £25,000 for mental health charity CALM.
Speaking about the death, he told The Mirror: “You’d never have known he was suffering. The night before he was on Instagram saying he was out for dinner.
“He was the same age as me. It really shook everyone.”
He added of the people messaging him ahead of his marathon: “Some are from people who lost a dad, or sister, to suicide. Many are struggling themselves.
You’re Not Alone
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm
“I’m lucky in that my brothers and I always talk. But not everyone has that support. Men are not great with their emotions.
“I want people to know there’s help out there. If I can save even one life, I’ll have done a great job.”
Ryan has two brothers: Emmerdale’s Adam and Love Island’s Scott Thomas.
He is also father to daughter Scarlett, 12, with ex Tina O’Brien and baby Roman with Lucy Mecklenburgh.
Ryan revealed in March that he has quit acting – admitting: “I’ve lost the bug for it.”
The soap star explained he found being criticised for his performances “really hard”.
Ryan played Corrie’s Jason Grimshaw for 16 years before joining Neighbours as Rafael Humphreys.
But more recently he has concentrated on projects with his brothers Adam and Scott, such as their travel TV series and podcast.
Speaking on their popular Mancs On The Mic show, Ryan explained rejection had ground him down.
He said: “It’s so hard for me. I started off acting, I started off in that game and I really lost the bug for it.
“I feel the reason for losing the bug is rejection and going to auditions and not getting them.”