Gail Porter mental health: Presenter calls for better training for police and ...

The former Top of the Pops ­presenter and model said she was told to wait for six months for ­psychiatric support when she visited her GP in desperation over her mental state. Now, she is calling for an increase in first-response training for emergency services and NHS frontline staff when dealing with people presenting acute symptoms of mental illness. Telling how she struggled with mental issues even at the height of her fame, the mother-of-one said: “I’ve gone to the doctors on my hands and knees, feeling so bad, and not knowing what to do, then being told I could get an appointment three weeks on Friday, when I need to speak to someone now.

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“I remember the first time I had the confidence to actually go in and tell someone about crying for no reason and needing to speak to someone.

“I sat down with a GP, told him I knew something wasn’t right. He said there was a six-month waiting list for mental health services.” The 48-year-old from Edinburgh added: “It had taken me over a year to have the courage to come in and talk to him. I was begging for help but there was nobody. So, I never went back. I was in floods of tears, but there was no compassion.”

In 2011, the presenter’s mental health deteriorated to the point she was sectioned in 2011 after police found her on Hampstead Heath in London.

She said: “I was really scared, struggling badly and I didn’t know what to do. I phoned an ex instead of the doctor,

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