Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford weren’t in exact harmony today as they discussed alternative help for pain and mental health issues.
This Morning host Eamonn, 61, has spoken openly about his struggle with chronic pain and recently visited hospital for an MRI scan.
So the subject of pain management proved to be a bit contentious as he and Ruth were joined by Gyles Brandreth and Nick Ferrari.
Going one particular newspaper headline, Eamonn said: “Basically the philosophy here is that through social activity, physical activity, we may just do ourselves good than prescribing pills.”
“It’s not just philosophy, it’s science,” Gyles insisted. “What this is saying is that for many people, you just need to get out and about. The NHS is – believe it or not – going to be prescribing paddleboarding.”
Ruth responded: “I think when we see that headline – ‘Paddleboarding on the NHS’ you say, ‘Oh that’s ridiculous!’ But when you look at this it’s not just paddleboarding. If you’re in a city, looking at gardening-“
Eamonn interjected: “The thing that everybody forgets is having the time, being able to afford to do this without being chronically ill. I agree with what Ruth’s saying – in an ideal world, it would be lovely! If we called each other and said, ‘Why don’t we ride on our bicycles?’ But I don’t know about you – do you have time?”
Nick replied: “No. Ruth’s right – the headline’s done exactly what it’s meant – it’s drawn your eyes to the story.”
Ruth insisted: “I think they’re talking about people with serious mental health problems, serious depression and saying that rather than dishing out pills. People need to be encouraged.”
“There will be an epidemic of mental health issues and the idea, as Eamonn says, that you could turn to someone who, really, their life has fallen apart – they’ve lost their job,” Nick responded. “And you say, tell you what, why don’t you go paddleboarding? I’m not saying the idea doesn’t have merit, I think it’s just a bit too simplistic.”
Ruth said: “No but it sounds simplistic…”
Eamonn interrupted his wife, saying: “No, I tell you what Ruth – this is where we differ. I am suffering from chronic pain at the moment, absolutely atrocious pain and your idea would be, ‘Go out paddleboarding’ and that you -“
Interjecting, Ruth insisted: “No, no, I wasn’t saying that.”
Eamonn exclaimed: “It would be! What I’m saying to you guys is, when you want the tablet or not, I say, ‘I’ll take a box of the tablets’ and that’s the way most people would be.”
“Yes, I understand that,” Ruth responded.
Eamonn exclaimed: “I haven’t got time to do that!”
*This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV