EASTENDERS star Shona McGarty has opened up about her battle with anxiety amid the coronavirus lockdown.
The actress – who plays Whitney Dean in the BBC soap – has encouraged fans to look after their mental health during the isolation period.
She told Metro: "It’s a very sad, uncertain, and frightening time for everyone at the moment.
"I have been keeping in contact with friends from work. We all speak regularly. I’m obviously keeping in contact with my family and friends via FaceTime etc.
"It’s so important to keep spirits up and communicate with each other. I live on my own with my 2 doggies Coco and Cece."
Shona opened up about her own battle with anxiety – and why she believes that is fuelling her to encourage others to speak about their own mental health challenges.
She said: "I would like to say, as someone who has suffered with anxiety, it’s so important that we can fearlessly speak out about our mental health at this time."
Shona added: "If you know someone who suffers from mental health, or if you suffer, call someone. Keep in touch with friends. Talk about how you're feeling. You are NOT alone. This is a really difficult time for everyone."
The actress also revealed how she had been keeping busy now the soap had shut down production and dropped to just two episodes per week.
She explained: "I’ve been singing in my kitchen a lot , exercising, playing with my dogs, and painting. Trying to keep busy. EastEnders is on 2 nights a week, so of course I’ve been excited to watch."
The soap now airs on Monday and Tuesday nights in an effort to keep it broadcasting until summer despite the lockdown.
It is not known when production will be able to resume.
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