Samantha Womack has spoken out about how she struggled to cope following her father’s suicide.
The actress shared her difficulties with her 250k Twitter followers, as she encouraged people to talk about their issues and praised mental health charity MIND.
“After struggling with my dad’s suicide – I applaud all the people standing up and talking about depression and mental illness @MindCharity,” Sam wrote.
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The mother of two’s father Noel took his own life in 2009, when Sam was at the height of her fame appearing on EastEnders as Ronnie Mitchell.
In a previous interview the 44-year-old admitted that she had worried “all her life” about her dad and had been haunted by his death.
Samantha had had a distant relationship with her father until she became a mother herself to Ben, 16, and Lili, 12. But the pair had got back in touch and were extremely close before he died.
“Being close to him again was special. It felt like a new-found relationship and we were enjoying it. Losing him was so sad,” she told the Daily Mail.
“It took a long time to get over, you’re not grieving in the same way because there are unanswered questions.
“I think anyone who suffers that kind of loss knows what I mean. You don’t know that someone is in trouble; you try and look back and see if there were signs.
“That’s a symptom of that situation; you’ll constantly look back and think, ‘Was there anything I could have done differently?’ That’s the legacy they leave.
“You have to be able to understand that everyone makes their own choices; you have to be ok with that.”
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Samantha, who is currently appearing on stage in a new production of The Addams family, is the latest in a long line of celebrities who have shared their own problems to encourage people to talk about mental health.
And it comes at a time when Princes William and Harry are working on a charity campaign, Heads Together, to help get people to open up and end the stigma.