Kit Harington On Protecting His Mental Health - Men's Health Australia

Kit Harington Opens Up About Protecting His Mental Health

Former Game of Thrones star Kit Harington has opened up on the past and present challenges of protecting his mental wellbeing, “It shocks me that the biggest killer of men under 45 is suicide.”

Kit Harington was the name on everyone’s lips in 2019 when anticipation for the massively popular Game of Thrones series reached fever pitch for the shows final season. But what no one realised at the time was that Harington was struggling with stress, exhaustion and addiction. While the show’s finale aired, Harington was in a rehabilitation facility. The 36-year-old has since gotten his life back on track, welcomed a baby and is now opening up on the challenges he still faces in protecting his mental health.

Harington joined the hosts of US talk show The View to discuss his upcoming psychological thriller film Baby Ruby, becoming a father and Game of Thrones. But the light-hearted conversation quickly turned to Harington’s past struggles. And the measures the 36-year-old still goes to in order to safeguard his mental health. “I’m a big believer in talk therapy. I went through a lot of that when I went through the thing I went through,” Harington said. “And I still to this day I have, for want of a better word, support groups that I go to where I talk and that helps me.”

Following the conclusion of filming for Game of Thrones, Harrington checked into a rehabilitation facility to deal with stress and alcohol abuse. It was during his time in rehab that Harington underwent psychological coaching to combat his mental health issues. This included practicing mindful meditation and cognitive behavioural therapy.

The experience had a lasting impact on Harington and still influences the way he approaches his own mental health today. His time in rehab also made Harington realise the need for better mental health support services. “I think more needs to be done, especially for young me to open them up and to help them talk about things.” Harington said on The View. “It shocks me that the biggest killer of men under 45 is suicide.”

Harington previously got candid about his struggles with addiction and stress in a 2021 interview with the Sunday Times. When asked if he ever felt suicidal, he said “I will give you an answer to that question: The answer is yes. Yes of course.” He went on to say that “I went through periods of real depression where I wanted to do all sorts of things.”

News of Harington’s period in rehab came as a shock to his friends and fans alike. “I will say about my addictions that I kept them very, very quiet and I was incredibly secretive and incredibly locked up with them,” he told the Sunday Times. It goes to show that sometimes the people you least expect can be struggling the most.

On The View, talk of Harington’s mental health quickly turned to a rumoured spinoff series focusing on Jon Snow after the events of Game of Thrones. With Harington reportedly set to be reprising the role that led to his acting breakthrough. But there’s bad news for fans desperate for an insight into the show. Harington was tight lipped when asked about the possible spinoff. “There’s nothing I can tell you on that front, I’m sorry,” he said.

Harington’s story has a happy ending. Following his time in rehab, Harington transitioned into a role as a family man and recently announced he’s expecting his second child. But his history of mental health challenges is proof that everyone needs to stay on top of their emotional wellbeing. Like Harington says, one of the easiest ways to do that is by opening up and talking to people.

If you’re thinking about hurting yourself or need someone to talk, you can get support by calling Lifeline (13 11 14), the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467) or Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800).

If you’re struggling with drug use or addiction, you can call Lifeline (13 11 14), or talk to someone on the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline. Where you can receive support, information, counselling, or referral to services (1800 250 015). 

Cayle Reid

By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything health and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or waking up early to watch sports in incompatible time zones.

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