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Government appoints Love Island’s Dr Alex as youth mental health ambassador

A&E doctor has campaigned for better support for young people since the death of his brother last year

Bethany Dawson
Wednesday 03 February 2021 12:50 GMT
Boris Johnson has appointed Dr Alex George as a youth mental health ambassador
Boris Johnson has appointed Dr Alex George as a youth mental health ambassador (10 Downing Street)
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A&E doctor and former Love Island star Dr Alex George has been appointed as the government’s first youth mental health ambassador.

Dr George, who has spent much of the past year working on the front line of the Covid-19 pandemic, has been campaigning for better support and awareness for mental health problems after the death of his younger brother, Llyr, in July 2020.  

The 19-year-old, who was due to attend medical school, took his own life in July after suffering mental health issues.

Downing Street said Dr George, who has previously raised over £11,500 for youth mental health charity Young Minds, will use his clinical expertise and personal experience to help shape policy on improving support for young people in schools, college and universities.

Speaking to prime minister Boris Johnson in a video released by No 10 on Wednesday, the former reality star said: “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.”

Statistics show the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on the mental health of young people, with a Young Minds study revealing 80 per cent of respondents said the coronavirus pandemic had made their mental health worse, with 41% saying it had made their mental health “much worse”.

Dr George added: "When things go wrong - as they do in life, we can't put cotton wool around people, we can't prevent bad things happening in the world - but if we can give people that toolkit so that when things go wrong they know how to look after themselves, they know who to go to.

"I lost my brother in the summer, he was 19, about to go to medical school and we were incredibly proud of him as a family, and sadly he took his own life, and I think the pressures of this pandemic played a big part."

Mr Johnson said: "I can only imagine what it must be like to lose a younger brother like that.

"It's fantastic that you want to use all your experience and and all that you've been through to help other people and maybe to reach out to people who find themselves feeling that sense of whatever it is that drives people to despair."

Dr George will start the unpaid role immediately, working within the Department for Education.

Additional reporting by agencies 

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