Lalla Hirayama confesses to struggling with her mental health and ‘feeling pretty hopeless’

Lalla Hirayama and her horse Palouse. Picture: Instagram

Lalla Hirayama and her horse Palouse. Picture: Instagram

Published May 10, 2023


Former Channel O presenter Lalla Hirayama has confessed to her over 220K followers on Instagram that she hasn’t been feeling like herself lately.

Despite entering the new year with more than a dozen positive affirmations to make 2023 her “best year yet”, the TV presenter has found herself struggling with her mental health.

She recently shared her story on Instagram.

“I haven’t been myself lately. If you’ve been trying to get a hold of me and can’t – I’m sorry, it hasn’t been an easy few months.

“Struggling with my mental health and for the most part feeling pretty hopeless – and completely lost on how to process some of my darkest thoughts and feelings.”

She continued to share that her psychiatrist, her partner Ross McIlroy, and her recently purchased pet horse are helping her get through the dark days.

“But this patch has been a rocky one. On a whim Ross took me to Stellies for some time out and some fresh air. When I arrived all I wanted was an outride to feel some peace and freedom. Little did I know I’d be meeting my first-ever horse I could call my own.”

Hirayama shared that she’s using equine therapy (a programme in which professionals guide clients through activities with horses) to help her overcome her mental struggles.

“Equine therapy is incredible for mental issues and I’ve felt it’s benefits before but this has been quite a bit different. It’s like he just knew how broken I felt. To have the love and respect of such an powerful being is hard to put into words,” she wrote.

After feeling much relief, Hirayama “couldn’t let him go” and so they (Hirayama and McIlroy) bought the horse.

Introducing her new pet, she wrote: “This is Africa’s African Sky aka Palouse 🐴 and he’s my first ever baby, an Appaloosa Sport. I’m a horse mommy! Finally! This is beyond what little Lalla could have ever hoped for and I’m beyond grateful❤️❤️❤️❤️.

“Thank you @rizziziousmar. You’ve helped make one of my biggest dreams come true. For your patience, words of encouragement, love, acceptance, and kindness you have shown me. ❤️.

“chantell.aylward you have been nothing short of amazing! Thank you for being an incredible help, awesome teacher and making this entire process so easy❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️. It’s been a day and I’m still in tears but happy ones 🥹.”

In another heart-warming video post, she wrote: “Traded in all ‘glitzy’ stuff for real gold ❤️ My heart is safe and more importantly it’s home🙏”