Comedian, author and political activist Russell Brand is finding it "increasingly impossible" to manage his addiction and mental health issues as he's "stranded" in New South Wales, Australia, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, Brand was forced to cancel his remaining Australia and New Zealand shows due to the global health crisis, and on Thursday the 44-year-old confirmed he was still in the region due to travel restrictions, reports aceshowbiz.com.

Lack of access to support groups and communities

In a video shared on his YouTube page, Brand said he didn't know whether he could leave Australia as the country was closing its borders, with the UK also taking similar precautions. He also shared his worry over the lack of access to support groups and communities to manage his addiction and mental health issues."I like to meet other people with addiction issues or alcoholism issues and get support as I work a 12-step programme. That becomes increasingly impossible in self-isolation," he said.

Russell Brand
Russell Brand Wikimedia Commons

Social media the only form of contact now

However, he joked: "Thankfully there are online hook up groups, not hook up groups, that's a different thing, that's the old life, meet up groups, that's much more my speed." The star added he found it ironic that while social media is often criticised for reducing interaction, it's now some people's only form of contact with the outside world.

"At a time where the world was becoming saturated with ongoing laments about the nature of atomised online communities, the fact that we don't speak any more, don't see each other anymore, that everything's done with a swipe or a like or a heart... Now suddenly it (online) is the only option we've got. Even in remote places such as the one where I find myself currently stranded there is suspicion and fear."