Government appoints reality TV star ‘Dr Alex’ as Youth Mental Health Ambassador
Current A&E frontline worker and former Love Island contestant, Dr Alex George, appointed to advise the Government on policy and to raise profile of mental health education and wellbeing in schools.
The Prime Minster Boris Johnson has appointed A&E doctor and former ‘Love Island’ star Alex George as youth mental health ambassador for the UK Government.
Announced as part of Children’s Mental Health Week, the new role will see the NHS worker and internet personality help “shape policy,” as well as advise on improvements to the education and support already in place for young people within education settings.
Dr Alex shot to fame with his appearance on the 2018 series of Love Island, and has amassed nearly two million Instagram followers, whilst remaining a frontline NHS worker at the University Hospital Lewisham in London.
He has since used his online following to spread awareness of a variety of medical subjects to his predominately young fan base.
More recently, he has been a strong campaigner for issues surrounding young people’s mental health, especially after tragically losing his teenage brother, Llŷr, to suicide in July last year.
Dr Alex will be part of the Mental Health in Education Action Group, set up specifically to look at people returning to school after lockdown.
Speaking on the announcement, Dr Alex stressed the importance of change now to help future generations, especially in the face of the pandemic.
“In my role, I will be working closely with the Government to make mental health an absolute priority,” he wrote on his Instagram account.
“Never has mental health been more important than now. From schools to universities, the NHS and the wider public, MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS [sic]. For the current as well as future generations, we must do everything in our power to bring meaningful change.”
“Nothing will bring my brother back but if I can make a positive impact that saves even one life, it will be worth moving mountains for,” he added.
Clare Murdoch, Mental Health Director at NHS England and NHS Improvement, welcomed the announcement and spoke highly of Dr Alex’s passion for improving mental health provisions for young people.
“I welcome the appointment of Dr Alex George as a Youth Mental Health Ambassador, and look forward working closely with him on this important issue,” said Murdoch.
“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.
“It has been a tough year, but the NHS is here for children’s mental health, and with the help of Dr Alex and our partners in health, education and charities, we will keep working hard to make sure every child in this country get the mental health support that they deserve.”
The Government have confirmed that the new role will remain independent and is an unpaid position.