Viewers have shared their thanks to Gemma Collins for speaking out (Picture: Channel 4)
Gemma Collins has been praised by opening up about her previous battles with self-harm in her Channel 4 documentary Self-Harm And Me.
The one-hour film saw the former Towie star in conversation with her therapist, Mandy Saligari, as well as speaking about her self-harm with her loved ones, including her best friend and her fiancé, Rami Hawash.
In one particularly difficult moment though, Gemma sat her mother Jean down in an attempt to talk about why she didn’t come to her aid, despite hurting herself in front of her parents at 13.
‘I obviously needed some sort of help or support at that time,’ the television personality admitted.
‘Which you would have got if you just spoke about it,’ Joan replied. ‘When you done it, we didn’t want to bring attention to it.’
‘You seemed okay,’ she continued. ‘You were always supported. The problem is obviously with you, it wouldn’t have been from home life or… you had everything. You was happy.
Gemma had a difficult conversation with her mum Jean about self-harm (Picture: Channel 4)
‘I don’t even know why you did do it. I just thought at the time were you copying someone off the TV.’
Elsewhere, Gemma had a heart-to-heart with her husband-to-be Rami about her self-harm.
‘It was never about you, it was never about any of that,’ she assured him. ‘It was to do with me, obviously, I was going through something and the only way I could relieve the pressure was to cut myself.
‘I never wanted to kill myself, that never went through my head.’
Viewers were moved by Gemma’s frankness and applauded her for speaking about self-harm on such a huge platform. They also shouted her out for attempting to speak to her mum about the past.
‘Well done to Gemma Collins for discussing her self-harm journey so openly & honestly,’ one penned. ‘It can’t have been an easy process to film & talk about.’
Echoing a similar sentiment, another penned: ‘Gemma Collins is going to give a voice to people who wish to communicate their issues with family and friends but don’t know how to start. Well done Gemma for being so brave.’
A third added: ‘ Respect and heartfelt compassion for Gemma Collins trying to have a discussion with her mum about self-harm.
‘The impact of having a parent who can’t accept any responsibility or hold their child’s emotions without minimising or dismissing them is visible. God love her.’
Gemma star first self-harmed when she was at school, and kept it a secret for two decade.
‘It was just something I did in private for 20 years. I haven’t cut myself since my early 30s,’ she said. ‘After my 30s I think I went onto a different sort of harm with bad partners, bad relationships with food, it’s all different types of self-harm.’
According to figures from the NHS, one in 15 people in the UK have self-harmed at some point in their lives, with one in six 16 to 24-year-olds self-harming.
The programme was been made in conjunction with mental health charity Mind, and the organisation is always grateful when stars speak out about their own experiences.
For support on dealing with self-harm see mind.org.uk/selfharm or call Mind’s confidential Infoline on 0300 123 3393.
Gemma Collins: Self-Harm And Me is available to stream on All4.