Shirley Ballas chokes on tears as she talks about her brother’s tragic suicide

Shirley Ballas struggled with tears as she talked about the tragic suicide of her late brother David, and the star said he was “everything” to me.

David of Wallasey, Merseyside, took his own life at the age of 44 in 2003 after suffering from depression, leaving Shirley and her family heartbroken.

And nearly 20 years after his death, Judge Strictly, 61, became emotional during an interview Wednesday this morning as she pondered warning signs of her brother and sister’s internal struggle.

Emotional: Shirley Ballas burst into tears as she discussed the tragic suicide of her late brother David, and the star said he was ‘all for me’

Emotional: Shirley Ballas burst into tears as she discussed the tragic suicide of her late brother David, and the star said he was ‘all for me’

She was seen wiping away tears as she touched a photo of David, which is among many at the Campaign Against Miserable (Calm) Life exhibition at London’s Southbank, which shows the smiling faces of 50 people just before they took their own lives.

Addressing host Phillip Schofield, Shirley said: ‘Seeing my brother on display there at Southbank gave me everything back, if I knew what I know now, I could help.

‘Everyone loved him. He was a big brother. He was like a father. He was everything to me.

‘We talked every day at four o’clock. He really was the last person I thought would take his own life. ‘

Tragic: David of Wallasey, Merseyside, took his own life at the age of 44 in 2003 after suffering from depression, leaving Shirley and her family heartbroken

Tragic: David of Wallasey, Merseyside, took his own life at the age of 44 in 2003 after suffering from depression, leaving Shirley and her family heartbroken

The Latino dancer then remembered the little signs David was giving to fight, but then she didn’t realize how serious things were.

She said: ‘When I look back now, warning signs have appeared. There were little things he would say or comment on, and I would say, ‘You’ll be fine, you’ll be fine.’

Now, nearly 20 years after losing her beloved brother, Shirley has called on others to be “wiser” when they notice a change in someone’s behavior.

She explained: ‘We have to be insightful. Our lives are as full as mine was then with people saying “you will be fine”.

Sad: Nearly 20 years since his death, Judge Strictly, 61, became emotional during Wednesday's interview this morning as she pondered warning signs of her brother's and sister's internal struggle

Sad: Nearly 20 years since his death, Judge Strictly, 61, became emotional during Wednesday’s interview this morning as she pondered warning signs of her brother’s and sister’s internal struggle

‘I’ve had people telling me that in some of the darkest moments of my life, they don’t know what’s going on inside. And even when my brother of past people said “It will be good” and if you didn’t go through this, it won’t be good.

‘You learn to live with it, but it never goes away. It’s hard to ever let go. ‘

As Phillip stressed the importance of ‘talking to people’ after sharing his dark times, Shirley continued: “There are many organizations where you can get to small-scale communication.

‘We are in a mobile world with social media, life goes so fast, and if you just take a step back, take a breath, take a moment, listen and really try to see your family or friends …’

Her all: Addressing host Phillip Schofield, Shirley said: ‘Everyone loved him.  He was a big brother.  He was like a father.  He was everything to me '

Her all: Addressing host Phillip Schofield, Shirley said: ‘Everyone loved him. He was a big brother. He was like a father. He was everything to me ‘

Since her brother’s death, Shirley has become a fiery fighter for mental health awareness, even founding the charity The Ballas Foundation with her son Mark.

Shirley was said to have felt ‘immense sadness’ when her brother David took his own life in 2003.

Her son Mark, a professional dancer at Dancing With The Stars in the US, previously spoke about the incident at his Web page.

In a blog post on his blog that The Mirror unveiled in 2017, the 36-year-old writes: “For me, it’s about raising awareness about depression. It’s not like a change of mood.

Frenzied: Shirley said, ‘We talked every day at four o’clock.  He really was the last person I thought would take his own life. '

Frenzied: Shirley said, ‘We talked every day at four o’clock. He really was the last person I thought would take his own life. ‘

Warning: Now, nearly 20 years after losing her beloved brother, Shirley has urged others to be ‘wiser’ when they notice a change in someone’s behavior

Warning: Now, nearly 20 years after losing her beloved brother, Shirley has urged others to be ‘wiser’ when they notice a change in someone’s behavior

‘People struggle with it every day. Nothing matters. My uncle’s daughter was everything to him, but it didn’t matter because he was sick.

‘You have to make people aware of how they can recognize that and help people get better.’

The post continues: ‘The family was left not only with great sadness, but also with guilt. You keep thinking you might have done something. ‘

David and Mark have been particularly close since he helped take care of him while Shirley looked for dance opportunities in the US.

Shirley and her son decided to make their story public in 2010 in an attempt to raise awareness about suicide prevention.

If you were affected by this story, you can call Samaritans at 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org

Touching: David's photo is shown at the exhibition Campaign Against Miserable (Calm) Life in London's Southbank, which shows the smiling faces of 50 people just before they took their own lives

Touching: David’s photo is shown at the exhibition Campaign Against Miserable (Calm) Life in London’s Southbank, which shows the smiling faces of 50 people just before they took their own lives

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