Meet the ambassadors we’re working with to help raise awareness about children and young people’s mental health.
Journalist and Channel 4 news presenter Cathy Newman has blogged before about the need to talk about mental health and dispel the stigma surrounding it.
She says: “I want to do what little I can to help get the subject onto the news agenda, and hopefully ensure that this generation and the next enjoys better mental health”
Norman Lamb MP
Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk has campaigned for years to improve mental health care in the UK. And he’s had personal experience too – in 2016 his sister committed suicide and he’s talked publicly about his son’s OCD diagnosis.
He served as Health Minister from 2012 to 2015 and has campaigned tirelessly for more public money for adolescent mental health.
Actress Michelle Collins has been a keen supporter of YoungMinds for years and was one of the many celebrities who campaigned to save our Parents Helpline in 2014.
Award winning mental health campaigner, film producer, public speaker, writer and vlogger, Johnny was awarded an MBE in 2017 for his services to mental health and suicide prevention.
Johnny knows first hand about the difficulties young people with mental health problems face. At the age of 20 he was was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder - a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar. His YouTube videos about the condition have been watched by hundreds of thousands of people and Johnny regularly speaks at events and in the media about living with mental health problems.
Actress Claire Skinner first became involved with us through her neighbor, who volunteered on the Parent Helpline. As the campaign to save the helpline kicked off in 2014, she showed it to Claire who backed our campaign and has been a supporter ever since.
“It struck a particular chord with me, she said. “One of my sons had run into some emotional and mental health problems and I wish I had known this resource existed.’
Claire believes that TV and film have a big role to play in educating people about youth mental health and helping to break the stigma and we’re delighted to have her on our side as an ambassador.
Singer songwriter Lucy is no stranger to talking about mental health and has been outspoken about her on battle with depression, her own suicide attempt as well as the need to talk about mental health.
Her advice for young people struggling with their mental health? “Speak to someone. Speak to anyone who you feel comfortable with. Don't drink to feel better (or do other stuff) because it will make things worse.
“Don't let yourself get low enough to hit that point of no return - when you get there it is very difficult to come back. Surround yourself with people and don't feel like a burden - they love you!”
Mother of 2 and wife of England and Leicester footballer Jamie, Rebekah Vardy has spoken publicly of her Post Natal Depression and the undiagnosed depression she suffered in her teens.
She said: “If I had contacted a charity like YoungMinds or if an adult had noticed what was going on thanks to the type of training that they offer, then I could have received the help and support that I needed and my teenage years could have been very different.
“I hope that my involvement with YoungMinds can help to change the lives of youngsters who have been suffering in silence."
Social media star Jada Sezer is an inspiring role model for young girls and is keen to use social media and the internet to spread a positive message about life.
Check out her video:
Former England cricketer Mike Yardy was diagnosed with OCD and depression – problems that affected his sporting career and his personal life.
Like many people struggling with mental health problems, Mike found it difficult to speak up. He said: “If I had been more open about my mental health earlier, I believe, I could have dealt with it quicker and it would not have caused so much pain."
Today, Mike works with young people in sport and opens up about his own issues to encourage them to be open too.
Writer, journalist and mental health campaigner Rachel Kelly was diagnosed with severe depression in her 30s. Her account of those times, ‘Black Rainbow’ went on to become a Sunday Times Bestseller and her second book, Walking On Sunshine: 52 Steps to Happiness was a bestseller around the world.
Rachel talks regularly in the media and shares her experiences with others in workshops and works hard to try to break the stigma surrounding mental health.