Gemma Collins hailed ‘brave’ as she shares secret self-harm battle in new documentary

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Gemma Collins has been hailed as "brave" for opening up about her own experience of self-harm in a new Channel 4 documentary.

The former The Only Way Is Essex star is set to share a deep struggle from her private life in upcoming film Gemma Collins: Self Harm & Me.

While Gemma – who turned 40 this year – is well-known for sharing her life with the public on screen, there are some struggles she has been afraid to talk about until now.

In the documentary, she will also investigate what is behind the shocking rise in self-harm cases in the UK.

Reported cases of self-harm have increased by 70% in the past decade, according to data from the British Medical Journal.

A Young Minds survey also found more than a third of 16-25 year olds in Britain said they had self-harmed at some point in their lives.

Viewers will see another side to bubbly reality star Gemma Collins
(Image: Instagram/gemmacollins)

Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor Lee McMurray said: “Gemma Collins has taken the brave decision to open up about her own experience with self-harm.

“As an instantly recognisable and relatable figure we applaud her courage in revealing her own struggles and hope this film and her insight will spark vitally important conversations around young people and self-harm”.

He added the documentary also aims to “spark vitally important conversations” around young people and mental health.

The candid documentary is set to be called Gemma Collins: Self Harm & Me and will air later this year
(Image: Instagram)

As part of the documentary, which will air later this year, Gemma will meet others who have struggled with self-harm and hear their stories.

The reality TV star will explore how bullying, self-esteem issues and the impact of social media can contribute to young people starting to self-harm.

Gemma will also speak to experts to learn how to identify signs of self-harm in family and friends and get guidance on what support is available.

Gemma had an off-on relationship with TOWIE co-star James Argent which ended last summer
(Image: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Rachel Arnold, Creative Director of Definitely, who made the film, said: “This isn’t Gemma as a celebrity, this is a woman being her authentic self.

“In confronting her own demons, and trying to understand what’s behind these shocking statistics, this film will be relatable for millions of people across the country who are struggling with self-harm.”

The documentary is supported by mental health charity, Mind, who said it was “good to see Channel 4 dedicating airtime to exploring mental health and self-harm.”

Spokesman Alex Bushill added: “Mind’s research has shown an increasing number of young people self-harming during the coronavirus pandemic and this can be a difficult thing to talk about or seek help for.

“Our research at Mind has also shown that when people in the public eye speak about their mental health, it encourages others to do the same – as many as one in five people have spoken to a loved one as a direct result of seeing a celebrity speak out.

“This demonstrates how vital it is that people in the public eye continue to speak honestly about their mental health experiences, including coping mechanisms like self-harm.”

Gemma recently revealed she is back with ex-fiance Rami Hawash
(Image: Photofab/REX/Shutterstock)

Despite the hard-hitting subject of the documentary, Gemma seems to have moved on to happier times in her personal life.

The telly favourite recently revealed she was back with former fiance Rami Hawash, following years of heartache with on-off boyfriend James Argent.

The Gemma Collins: Diva Forever star said: “I’ve got a lovely partner now and I’m very happy. I never saw that coming and I never predicted it.”

Gemma Collins is back with her former fiance Rami Hawash

Now she has set her sights on what the future could hold next for her, including having a baby.

She said: “If I had a baby this year I’d be over the moon. Anything can happen.

"All I know is I’d be in the best health and shape of my life, so I hope it would come out of me very quickly.

“I couldn’t deal with labour for 48 hours. Hell no. I want it to be in and out – two hours, job done.”

If you're struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] if you'd prefer to write down how you feel

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