Doctor and Love Island star Dr Alex George has been chosen to be a youth mental health ambassador.
The appointment was made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to mark Children’s Mental Health Week this week. Alex’s younger brother Llŷr died by suicide last year at the age of 19 and Alex has been working to raise awareness of the importance of mental health support for young people ever since.
In his new voluntary role, Alex will use both his personal and professional experiences to work with the Department for Education to improve mental health education and support for children and teenagers in schools, colleges and universities.
He will sit on the newly-created Mental Health in Education group, which aims to look specifically at how young people can be supported when they return to the classroom when lockdown measures are eased.
Alex, who found fame appearing as a contestant on the ITV2 reality show Love Island, said: “The last year has been unimaginably difficult for all of us, but particularly for young people who have sacrificed so much. Right now, young people need a voice in government, and I hope that through this role I can advocate for meaningful change in this area.”
Claire Murdoch, Mental Health Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “I met Dr Alex recently and was struck by his commitment to the NHS and to the mental health of our nation. Children’s Mental Health Week couldn’t be a more important time to come together and help our youth improve their wellbeing.”
This year’s theme for Children’s Mental Health Week is ‘Express Yourself’ and aims to encourage young people to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas by taking part in activities they enjoy. This could be anything from performing arts and writing to painting or photography.
The Duchess of Cambridge marked the start of the week on Monday with a video message urging children to find ways to feel good about themselves. She also reminded parents to make sure they looked after their own mental health too.
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Image Source: itv.com / Dr Alex George