The dark days of her 20s didn’t break Sam, they made her who she is now. In her most honest interview yet, and on the cusp of turning 30, Sam Frost reveals why opening up about mental health was the best move she’s made.
Confession: I don’t tell Sam Frost this when we meet, but I’ve interviewed her before. It was three years ago, and if I could describe that phone chat with Sam in one word, it would be ‘guarded’. She was co-hosting a breakfast radio show and dating her Bachelorette pick, Sasha Mielczarek, at the time. I didn’t blame her for wanting some semblance of privacy. Her life had become tabloid fodder since her very public, and very dramatic, break-up with Blake Garvey during the second season of The Bachelor in 2014.
I don’t tell her this, because the Sam I meet today is a different person. She’s self-assured. More comfortable in her own skin. And in one word: happy. We chat for more than an hour and laugh about how we’ve both ended up with younger men: her boyfriend of two years, Dave Bashford, is three years younger than her (“It’s so great! I feel like a boss lady!” the 29-year-old jokes). She looks settled into her new career and life on Home and Away (“I want to put 110 per cent effort into growing as an actress”). We bond over a shared love of hot chips and gravy, despite eating healthily most of the time (“They’re so yum. I’m certainly not going to say no”).
But the topic that takes up most of our conversation is mental health. “Mental illness is one of the most isolating illnesses you can have, and people don’t quite understand how crippling the pain and anxiety is. Sometimes you don’t want to reach out to your friends,” Sam says. “You don’t feel comfortable enough.” As she talks honestly about her experience of anxiety and depression, I’m taken aback at how much I relate and wonder how many of you will, too. I tell her this is why it’s important she’s sharing her stories, because some of us don’t recognise when we need help or even that it’s OK to ask for it. “Yeah, that’s what I think as well,” Sam agrees. I hope you get as much out of our chat on mental-wellness strategies and digital detoxes as I did. But first, let’s celebrate Sam’s upcoming, big 3-0!