Meet the Ambassadors
Meet all the ambassadors we’re working with to help raise awareness about children and young people’s mental health.
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”
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.
YouTuber Dan Howell became a YoungMinds Ambassador when he shared a video to his 6.5 million YouTube subscribers, opening up about his depression. He says: “It’s a big part of my story I think people should know and understand, and I want other people going through mental health issues to know that they can talk about it and it can get better.”
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:
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.
Katie Keight is writer and producer of the web series 'Letting Go', which deals with mental health issues such as depression. Often touching on her own experiences, Katie is an advocate for talking openly about mental health and wellbeing.
Katie says, "To any young person reading this who feels as though they may need some help, I want to say that there are people who will understand. You don't have to cope with anything by yourself, there are people who are waiting to help you."
Katie Thistleton is a TV and radio presenter and host of Life Hacks on BBC Radio 1. In 2017 she also hosted BBC Radio 1’s The Surgery.
Katie says: "I'm passionate about raising mental health awareness because I've suffered with my own mental health problems...I believe we should talk about our emotions and feelings when we're young."
As a CBBC presenter, Lauren Layfield regularly works with young people. She’s become a YoungMinds Ambassador, to tell young people that it’s okay to ask for a bit of help if they need it: “We’re seeing a rise in children reporting mental health problems and they need somewhere to turn to. YoungMinds is a charity catering especially for them, and that’s special.”
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
When Sean Fletcher son’s Reuben spoke up in an interview about his OCD, it moved Sean to do the same: “Seeing Reuben so driven to tell his peers that they don’t have to suffer in silence, made me realise I could do the same for parents of children with mental health issues.”
Now the journalist, radio and TV presenter is an ambassador for YoungMinds, and regularly shares his experiences of being a parent, mental health and OCD.
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YoungMinds exists so that young people have the strongest possible voice in improving their mental health. We need your help to make sure that voice is heard.