The X Factor winners Rak-Su have revealed that Mustafa Rahimtulla has been taking some time away from the group as he's been "struggling with some mental health issues".
On Saturday, November 22, fellow bandmates Ashley Fongho, Jamaal Shurland and Myles Stephenson took to their Instagram page to share a video of themselves explaining why Mustafa has been absent from much of their content over the past couple of months.
"Unfortunately, this video we are about to share with you right now isn't going to be the happy and bubbly sort you usually get," Ashley began. "But we feel like it's an issue we should probably talk about because a lot of you have been asking."
He went on to add that Mustafa hasn't felt "in the right frame of mind to take part in everything [the band] is trying to do right now" but, while it's unlikely he'll return in the immediate future, "the door's always going to remain open" for him to make a comeback.
"He's our brother and has been for a very long time, and once he feels like he's capable again to step back into the world we currently exist in, then he will be back."
Later, Ashley urged others who are having a difficult time not to keep things bottled up.
"Ash here, tried to keep that video short and sweet because we didn't want to use what he was going through as a piece of PR," he wrote. "We all know that mental health is important as it's a battle a lot of people have to fight in silence.
"Fortunately Mustafa stopped being silent about his and together we could talk about things and support him.
"It's not easy and everything feels weird with him being absent, for years it's always been the four of us on stage," Ash continued, referencing how the foursome have been making music together since they were children.
"I don't want to get to a time where that's not true anymore so hopefully his trip to Egypt can help him heal and get back to where he needs to be.
"Mus we love you, obvs we spoke yesterday but from Jam, Myles and I and everyone else, rest up and come back full of life."
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov.
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