‘I was suicidal’: B.C. radio host breaks silence about mental health
Jeremy McGoran is happily married, has a beautiful young son, and a great career. But this time last year he was also struggling with a dark secret: the radio host was suffering from depression and an anxiety disorder, and was close to ending his own life.
“One morning, I just had to call up [my wife] and say, ‘you have to come home like right now because otherwise I don't know what's going to happen,’” said McGoran, who lives in Penticton, B.C. “I was suicidal.”
Yet McGoran was not alone in his silent struggle: one in five Canadians will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime, and nearly two-thirds of these individuals will keep it a secret.
Inspired by Bell’s “Let’s Talk” Day, McGoran and his wife Mare McHale – who was also suffering from anxiety issues – decided to share their story. McGoran works at EZ Rock and McHale works at Sun FM, which are both owned by Bell Media, as is CTV News.
McGoran’s depression was partially triggered by the challenges facing the couple’s young son, Thomas, who was born with progressive hearing loss. The boy was later diagnosed with autism and lost the ability to speak.
As the couple found help for him, McGoran’s mental health slipped into crisis.
“We couldn’t even leave Jeremy alone this time last year,” said McHale. “That’s how bad it got.”
The couple says after they shared their challenges on the radio and through their video blog, things began to turn around.
“It was so emotional, I cried on air,” added McHale. “We talked about it for a while, and what I wasn't anticipating was the outpouring of hundreds of messages.”
The couple now has medication, counselling, and the support of family and friends – and they are encouraging others living with mental illness to seek help.
“You have got to talk to your doctor, that’s basically the first thing you’ve got to do,” said McGoran. “Knowing that there’s a lot of help gives me hope.”
With files from CTV Vancouver's Kent Molgat