This Morning: Tearful Josie Gibson reveals four of her friends died by suicide during Covid lockdown

An emotional Josie Gibson held back tears as she revealed she lost four of her friends to suicide during lockdown on Wednesday’s This Morning.

The presenter, 37, – who is standing in for Covid-stricken Holly Willoughby – shared the upsetting news during a discussion about the struggle to access mental health services.

Joining Josie and her co-presenter, Phillip Schofield, was Dr Nighat Arif. The family GP was on the show to discuss the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the nation’s mental health.

Sad: An emotional Josie Gibson held back tears as she revealed she lost four of her friends to suicide during lockdown on Wednesday’s This Morning

During the discussion, Josie became visibly upset when she shared that she has personally been affected by the mental impact of the pandemic.

Josie said: ‘I personally know four men who took their own lives, and the support was just not there.’

Dr Arif then admitted there has been a huge backlog in processing referrals for mental health treatment, and said: ‘The difficulty is when demand is so much …

‘Hand on heart, even I don’t have the solution for it.’

Tough: During the discussion, Josie became visibly upset when she shared that she has personally been affected by the mental impact of the pandemic

Tough: During the discussion, Josie became visibly upset when she shared that she has personally been affected by the mental impact of the pandemic

Honest: The presenter, 37, - who is standing in for Covid-stricken Holly Willoughby - shared the upsetting news during a discussion about the struggle to access mental health services

Honest: The presenter, 37, – who is standing in for Covid-stricken Holly Willoughby – shared the upsetting news during a discussion about the struggle to access mental health services

The GP also informed people watching at home on what they can do if they are really suffering. Dr Arif said: ‘There are so many things that we can do.

‘So the first thing I say is talk, talk, talk. Don’t be embarrassed, you can cry, you can be sad, make sure you are going for a walk, getting exercise, seeing green spaces, hugging a tree. ‘

Mum-of-one Josie said that she followed Dr Arif’s advice, and revealed to viewers what she did to cope with the stress and trauma of the pandemic.

Josie said: ‘We all get low. Every day I take my shoes and socks off, and I walk outside on the grass because when you’re connecting back to the earth, back to nature, you feel good. ‘

Important: Joining Josie and her co-presenter, Phillip Schofield, was Dr Nighat Arif.  The family GP was on the show to discuss the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the nation's mental health

Important: Joining Josie and her co-presenter, Phillip Schofield, was Dr Nighat Arif. The family GP was on the show to discuss the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the nation’s mental health

Help: The GP also informed people watching at home on what they can do if they are really suffering.  Dr Arif said: 'There are so many things that we can do

Help: The GP also informed people watching at home on what they can do if they are really suffering. Dr Arif said: ‘There are so many things that we can do

Josie has replaced Holly on This Morning this week after the presenter tested positive for Covid over the weekend.

On Monday Phillip joked he thought both he and Holly ‘might be immune’ from the illness as neither of them had contracted it up until recently.

Holly, 41, was also forced to bow out of Sunday night’s Dancing On Ice semi-final, which co-host Phillip said had left him feeling ‘gutted’.

Having her say: Mum-of-one Josie said that she followed Dr Arif's advice, and revealed to viewers what she did to cope with the stress and trauma of the pandemic

Having her say: Mum-of-one Josie said that she followed Dr Arif’s advice, and revealed to viewers what she did to cope with the stress and trauma of the pandemic

Here she is: Josie has replaced Holly on This Morning this week after the presenter tested positive for Covid over the weekend

Here she is: Josie has replaced Holly on This Morning this week after the presenter tested positive for Covid over the weekend

As he and Josie opened Monday’s This Morning, Phillip said: ‘We were absolutely convinced, both Holly and I, that having worked all the way through everything that we might be immune.’

He explained that having avoided contracting the virus throughout the pandemic, he tested positive a few weeks ago, before Holly’s positive test this weekend.

‘So she’s tested positive, she’s at home watching. It is the weirdest thing in the world when you can’t do it and you’re watching it from home. It was the same with Dancing On Ice last night. So Holly get well soon, ‘

Quip: On Monday Phillip joked he thought both he and Holly 'might be immune' from the illness as neither of them had contracted it up until recently (Holly and Phil pictured on last week's show)

Quip: On Monday Phillip joked he thought both he and Holly ‘might be immune’ from the illness as neither of them had contracted it up until recently (Holly and Phil pictured on last week’s show)

‘Yeah, get well soon Hols. Sending you lots of love, ‘Josie told her, as Phillip added:’ Get back as quick as you can, but I’m very in safe hands here. So we’re going to have a good day, and we miss you. ‘

While Holly has yet to publicly address her absence, several fans have wished her a speedy recovery on social media.

Josie stood in for Holly earlier this year on the show when she came down with a tummy bug at the last minute, leaving her unable to host.

Sad: Holly, 41, was also forced to bow out of Sunday night's Dancing On Ice semi-final, which co-host Phillip said had left him feeling 'gutted' (pictured on last week's show)

Sad: Holly, 41, was also forced to bow out of Sunday night’s Dancing On Ice semi-final, which co-host Phillip said had left him feeling ‘gutted’ (pictured on last week’s show)

With little time available to find a replacement host, Phillip presented Sunday night’s Dancing On Ice alone.

An ITV spokesperson said of Holly’s absence: ‘Unfortunately, Holly Willoughby is unable to host tonight’s show after testing positive for Covid-19. We look forward to Holly returning for the Dancing on Ice Live Final. ‘

Phillip shared a snap of the two together on his stories and wrote: ‘Gutted that my mate won’t be with me on Dancing on Ice tonight. Get well soon darlin. ‘

It comes after Phillip was forced to take time off from Dancing On Ice hosting duties last month when he tested positive for Covid.

The presenter was replaced by Stephen Mulhern, which saw him present alongside Holly for the first time since their days hosting children’s TV together, with the pair last presenting Ministry of Mayhem back in 2006.

Opening the show, Holly said: ‘Welcome to the greatest show on Ice. You may have heard that Phil is isolating so for the first time ever he won’t be here this week. The lovely Stephen Mulhern has stepped in to save the day. ‘

Stephen, who was greeted with rapturous applause, said: ‘Yes, I am here guy. Please don’t stop. Can you believe it’s actually 16 years since we worked together on kids TV? ‘

Holly said: ‘I know and look at us now, we’re grownups doing proper grown up telly,’ to which Stephen joked: ‘Back by no demand.’

If you have been affected by this story, please call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org

Going it alone: ​​On Sunday Phillip shared a snap of the two together on his stories and wrote: 'Gutted that my mate won't be with me on Dancing on Ice tonight.  Get well soon darlin '

Going it alone: ​​On Sunday Phillip shared a snap of the two together on his stories and wrote: ‘Gutted that my mate won’t be with me on Dancing on Ice tonight. Get well soon darlin ‘

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