Tyler Cruickshank on mental health after pal’s death made him cry for first time in years

Tyler Cruickshank has spoken out on his own mental health in a candid chat after revealing the sudden death of his friend.

The 26 year old, who rose to fame after being coupled up with Kaz Kamwi on Love Island, lost his pal after he tragically took his own life before he went into the villa of the hit ITV dating programme.

Croydon-based Tyler, who was recently announced as the SOS Silence Of Suicide Advocate For Young People, explained that the unexpected death left him in tears for the first time in years.

"I haven't cried in years. And that's the first time I've cried in ages," told OK! in an exclusive interview. "I think it made me sort of start to talk to my friends a bit more. And sort of ask the question, 'Are you okay to do this? Don't do that' and look out for signs that I didn't really know existed before.

"There's no manual, sort of like knowing if someone is on the brink of doing something, or if they're really suffering. But having sort of gone through that with my friend, I kind of learned sort of, you know, some of the signs to look out for and the right questions to ask."

When asked if he's ever experience any difficulties with his own mental health, Tyler shared how he went through a tough time during the coronavirus pandemic as he had split from his University sweetheart of four years and had been put on furlough when the UK went into lockdown.

"At the beginning of Covid, when lockdown happened… It sounds so sort of minuscule, but I was actually going through kind of like a breakup with like my previous girlfriend. I think it was it was just made worse by the fact that I was in lockdown," he shared.

Tyler, who recently said there's "no bad blood" between himself and ex Kaz, continued: "There was nothing to do, I think at the time I was actually on furlough. So I literally was just not leaving the house."

At the time of the lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had placed a rule that allowed people to take “one journey outside for up to one hour”, which meant people were confined indoors for the majority of the day. Tyler thanked his mum and dad as well as some of his best friends for getting him through this time.

Describing how he was impacted by the combination of what he was going through, he shared: "I have been at a point in my life where I felt really down.

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"I'll probably say I was close to being depressed. It was affecting my eating and my sleeping patterns as well.

"But, you know, you just need people around you, that's just going to really help you get out of that rut and that hole. And make you realise that it's not the be all and end all life actually does go on."

Now, Tyler is determined to use his experiences to help young people who might be struggling with their mental health.

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He said: “When we lost my friend to suicide, his pain ended but it then moved onto his family, friends & colleagues.

"I’m looking forward to raising awareness about the power of speaking out, the importance of managing mental & emotional health & being a part of a fantastic charity to help those impacted by suicide.”

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