We are delighted to announce that the actor Bella Ramsey is now an official YoungMinds ambassador. We sat down with Bella to chat about why the fight for young people’s mental health is important to her, how she looks after her mental health, and her advice for young people wanting to get into acting.
Becoming a YoungMinds ambassador
Why have you become a YoungMinds ambassador?
Because I’m passionate about talking about mental health and destroying the stigma surrounding it. I want to use the platform I’m so blessed to have to help.
You have spoken about your own mental health struggles. Why is it important to you to talk about it?
To break the stigma, to break the silence, to encourage others to talk. For me, talking about what I’m feeling and struggling with always helps and also makes others aware. It’s important for people to know that voicing struggles isn’t a weakness - we aren’t seeking attention or pity - we just want to raise awareness and help people understand.
Making mental health a priority
How do you look after your own mental health and where do you seek support when you need it?
Well I talk to God about everything I’m feeling and He reassures me that I’m not alone and helps me to see things from His point of view. I also try to make sure my mental health is a priority and look after myself so that I can better help the people around me. I’m not perfect, I’m always learning and I’m grateful to have a supportive family and people that I can reach out to if I need support.
Do you have any advice for young people who are struggling with their mental health?
Prioritise it. Talk to people you trust or people who are also struggling and find solutions together. Remind yourself of all the good things in your life and make sure you set aside time to do what you love. Know that you are valuable and you have a purpose.
How did it feel when you found someone who you could talk to about your mental health?
Scary at first because opening up can be hard. But the more you talk, the easier it gets. There’s a sense of relief after you’ve passed that initial barrier.
Identity and acting
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t search for identity, you know exactly what it is. You don’t need to attach labels to yourself. Just be Bella. That’s all you need to be.
Do you have any advice on how to break into acting?
Get some experience. You can have a look online for acting groups near you. Go along to one and see what happens - you’ll probably discover if you have a passion for acting or not. If you do, then you can take the next step, which is getting an agent. If you seriously want to do acting as a career then you’re going to need an agent. They basically represent you, look after you and put you forward for auditions. Again, you can look online for different agencies and apply but don’t be disheartened if you get a no - if you want to do acting then rejection is something you’ll have to get used to. Just keep trying.
The acting industry isn’t easy and it isn’t glamorous, so make sure you don’t go into it for the fame. You have to have a passion for it. Being famous, for me, isn’t my job and I never want it to be. Fame is simply a by-product of my job that I have to navigate.