The Prime Minister has appointed Dr. Alex George as Youth Mental Health Ambassador this week during Children’s Mental Health week.
Dr Alex George, an A&E doctor, has been appointed to the role to advise government and raise the profile of mental health education and wellbeing in schools. Dr Alex has been a passionate online campaigner for children’s mental health since he tragically lost his brother to suicide last year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Children and young people have heroically adapted to save lives and protect our NHS. This has understandably had a huge impact on their mental health, so I want to shine a spotlight on this vital issue ahead of their return to school. I’m delighted that Dr. Alex George will be working with us as we do everything in our power to improve people’s mental wellbeing.”
Dr Alex will use his clinical expertise and personal experience to champion government’s work on children’s mental health and shape policy on improving support for young people in schools, colleges and universities.
He will sit on the new Mental Health in Education Action Group, chaired by Children’s Minister Vicky Ford and Universities Minister Michelle Donelan, which will look specifically at how young people are supported with their wellbeing as they return to education after a challenging year.
Utilising his huge social media following among young people, Dr. Alex can signpost available support, as well as feeding back to government on what more can be done.
Dr. Alex George said: “The last year has been unimaginably difficult for all of us, but particularly for young people who have sacrificed so much.
“I am honoured to be appointed for this role where I’ll be working closely with government to make mental health an absolute priority and hope to have a positive impact on the lives of young people and their education for good.
“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,” he added.
The appointment comes after the NHS, in collaboration with the Department for Education, has introduced 180 Mental Health Support Teams in England, with more currently in training.
These teams provide counselling for students, and also assist with training parents and teachers to help children and young people improve their mental wellbeing. These teams have continued to work virtually during lockdown.
Dr. Alex’s role will begin immediately, and he will work within the Department for Education. He will remain independent of government and it is an unpaid position.