Kirk Norcross in tears as he recalls the day his dad Mick died by suicide: ‘I found him’

·3 min read
 (ITV)
(ITV)

Kirk Norcross has opened up about his dad’s death by suicide in a bid to raise awareness of men who may be suffering from depression.

The TV personality spoke about his dad during an appearance on Loose Women today (20 January).

Norcross’s dad – fellow The Only Way is Essex star Mick Norcross – was found dead at his home in Essex, England, on 21 January in 2021.

Speaking about the forthcoming anniversary of Mick’s death, Norcross said: “It’s weird. I don’t know if people will understand. It’s been the quickest year ever and the slowest year ever.”

He continued: “I really don’t think I have [come to terms with his death]. I can talk about it so freely and I shouldn’t be able to, but maybe this is how I grieve now.”

Norcross also detailed the events leading up to his dad’s death.

“I live next to my father, I was with him the night before,” he recalled. “That morning, I was having my breakfast, and he did what he usually did, which was take a bit off my plate. And he was fine. He actually gave me his next business strategy and I was like, ‘Brilliant, if that’s what you want to do.’ That afternoon he killed himself.”

The 33-year-old continued: “I was indoors, having my lunch and I got a call from my dad’s partner saying, ‘I can’t find your dad.’ And I don’t know why, even though I saw him that morning, I knew what had happened.

Mick Norcross attends ‘The Expendables 2’ premiere on 13 August 2012 in London, England (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Mick Norcross attends ‘The Expendables 2’ premiere on 13 August 2012 in London, England (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

“We knew he was in the house, he’d locked himself in the house and I smashed through the door. I found him… I gave him CPR. I tried my best. I knew he was gone though, I knew the minute I saw him.”

Norross described the moment as “surreal”, adding: “It was like my life ended but I had so much to do at the same time.”

After realising that Mick had died, Norcross said that he “laid with my father and told him it’s time to rest”.

He revealed that he had been diagnosed with PTSD “because I’ve had flashbacks of how I found my father”, adding that he calls his friends whenever they happen.

Norcross said that he tried to take his own life many years ago because “I didn’t think I had a purpose then”.

 (ITV)
(ITV)

“It’s been hard,” he said. “I’m a recovering drug addict and I’m not ashamed to sayI did relapse when my father died, the day after. It was just to numb my pain but I’m a couple of days away from nine months sober.”

Norcross said that on reflection, he can identify the signs that his dad was considering taking his own life.

“That’s why I did want to come on [the show]. The signs, even though they were subtle, if people are watching, they may be able to get help,” he recalled.

“My dad would get up and have a shower, put clothes on, he was a presentable person but during lockdown he just wore a tracksuit all day, but I thought that was just lockdown.”

Norcross appeared on Loose Women to support the ITV programme’s Stand By Your Men campaign, which encourages men to speak out if they are struggling with their mental health.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.

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