Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 9 – 15 May and this year’s theme is loneliness. With this in mind we have chosen Frankie Bridge as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Frankie is a singer, songwriter and TV personality. She is a former member of groups S Club Juniors and The Saturdays and has appeared in various TV shows including Strictly Come Dancing, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and The Saturdays 24/7 and is a regular panellist on Loose Women.
Frankie is an ambassador for the mental health charity Mind and chose to support them after opening up about her experiences of anxiety, depression and panic attacks back in May 2012. Having initially dealt with these issues in silence, Frankie is keen to support Mind in making sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.
Frankie has leant her support to a number of Mind’s campaigns including Time to Talk Day and Move for Mind. During Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, Frankie guest-edited the Lifestyle section of Metro Online and penned an opinion piece highlighting Mind’s ‘Join the Fight’ campaign and sharing her reasons for supporting Mind’s work.
To find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week see here
Find out more about Frankie here
Time to Talk Day 2022 is on 3 February, with this in mind we have chosen Clarke Carlisle as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Clarke Carlisle is a former premier league footballer, Sky Sports pundit and PFA (Professional Footballers Association) Chairman. He is also an ambassador for the Mental Health Charity Mind.
Clarke was diagnosed with depression when he was playing professional football and, by becoming a Mind ambassador, helps to spread the message that there needs to be the understanding, freedom and awareness to address mental health in the same way as physical health.
Clarke has been pivotal in helping to launch Mind’s sport report ‘Performance Matters: Mental Health in Elite Sport‘ which details how sports associations can better support the mental health of professional sportspeople.
Clarke, and his wife Carrie, won the Speaking Out Award at our Mind Media Awards in 2018. This award was given to Clarke in recognition of the significant impact he has had by sharing his own experience of mental health problems.
To find out more about Time to Talk Day see here
To find out more about Clarke see here
World Alzheimer’s Month is the international campaign every September to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia. September 2021 will mark the 10th World Alzheimer’s Month. The campaign was launched in 2012 and World Alzheimer’s Day is on 21 September each year.
With that in mind we have chosen Phyllis Logan as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Phyllis is one of the most recognisable faces on British television, having starred as Lady Jane Felsham for eight years in the BBC’s much-loved antiques comedy drama, Lovejoy, before becoming synonymous with another British classic, Downton Abbey, in which she rules the roost as housekeeper Mrs Carson, nee Hughes.
In 1983 she won a BAFTA for most promising newcomer for her role in the emotional drama Another Time, Another Place and she has numerous other film credits to her name, including Nativity! and the Mike Leigh classic Secrets and Lies.
Phyllis is a Dementia UK Ambassador and a passionate supporter of Dementia UK’s work, having witnessed her mother’s struggles with a cognitive impairment and her mother-in-law’s difficulty following a diagnosis of dementia.
She has appeared on television multiple times to promote Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurse Helpline and our Time for a Cuppa fundraiser – each time causing a huge spike in calls.
To find out more about Phyllis see here
To find out more about World Alzheimer’s Day see here
24 July is the Samaritans annual awareness campaign ‘Talk to Us’ also known as the ‘Big Listen’ and with that in mind we have chosen Fearne Cotton as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Fearne Cotton is an author and TV and radio presenter.
She is an ambassador for MIND the Mental Health Charity and lends her support to their major campaigns such as RED January and Time to Talk Day, hosted their Mind Media Awards in 2017 and has visited a local Mind to learn about Mind’s work within the community.
She first publicly opened up about her experience of depression in 2017 before writing HAPPY, a book about finding joy in the everyday and letting go of perfection. Since then, she has released her follow up book CALM and has started her podcast HAPPY PLACE, in which she interviews various individuals about their life experiences, including Mind’s President, Stephen Fry.
Fearne has also launched her Happy Place Festival, previously welcoming Mind to host a pop-up stand at the live event and supporting Mind through the virtual event in 2020.
To find out more about Fearne see here
To find out more about the ‘Talk to Us’ campaign see here
Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 18 – 23 May and with this in mind we have chosen Duke McKenzie as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Duke McKenzie is a former boxer and three weight world champion and an ambassador for the mental health charity MIND.
In 1995, Duke’s brother, best friend and mentor Dudley McKenzie tragically took his own life. Dudley’s suicide left Duke passionate about mental health, particularly within the sporting world, leading him to actively support Mind for the past nine years.
Duke helped launch Mind’s partnership with Heads Together, giving a taster boxercise class to Prince Harry and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Olympic Park.
He coached boxercise at Mind in Croydon and has recently helped shape Mind’s Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity training, which he also helped launch in 2019.
As an ambassador for Mind, Duke helps to champion the benefits that physical exercise can have in managing a mental health problem.
In 2011 Duke was awarded the MBE for his services to boxing.
To find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week see here https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week
To find out more about Duke McKenzie see here https://www.dukemckenziembe.co.uk/
World Autism Awareness Week runs from 29 March – 4 April and with that in mind we have chosen Harry Wells as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Harry is a professional rugby player with the Leicester Tigers, a Tigers academy graduate, having gained experience at Bedford and Nottingham, he is now a firm fixture in the first team squad.
He has twin sons Oscar and Theodore and Oscar was diagnosed with autism in 2018. Harry became an Ambassador for the National Autistic Society in 2020 and works to raise awareness through supporting campaigns and taking part in different challenges.
He and Oscar were the stars of last year’s sporting challenge ‘7k for 700k’, this year it is known as ‘Super 7 Challenge’. More details are here https://www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/raise-money/world-autism-awareness-week/super-7-challenge
For World Autism Awareness Week 2021 the National Autistic Society have created lots of information and things to do on their webpages including quizzes and challenges and ways to fundraise.
To find out more about Harry see here https://www.leicestertigers.com/news/harry-wells-announced-as-ambassador-for-the-national-autistic-society
To find out more about World Autism Awareness Week see here https://www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/raise-money/world-autism-awareness-week
The BBC has created a new mental health toolkit called Headroom. It provides everyday tips, sounds to relax your mind, strategies to cope with parenting right now or films to get you talking, it has been created to help you look after yourself and your loved ones. Find out more here.
24 July is Samaritans Awareness Day and this year it is known as The Big Listen, with this in mind we have chosen someone who has openly discussed their mental health situation, the actor and tv personality Denise Welch as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month.
Denise is an actress and tv personality. She has featured in many well know tv shows including, Soldier Soldier, Waterloo Road, Coronation Street, Eastenders, Benidorm and Dun Breedin to name just a few. She has appeared in many other tv shows and is a regular panellist on Loose Women.
Her mental health issues began following the birth of her first child. She refers to the clinical depression she suffers with as ‘The Unwelcome Visitor’ and although she has written before about her struggles her latest book is called ‘The Unwelcome Visitor – Depression and How I survive it’.
This type of book was something she would have found very useful over the last 30 years, within the book Denise reveals her ongoing journey from breakdowns to breakthroughs and through self-destruction to self-acceptance. It lets people know that ‘you’re not alone and you can live a happy and successful life alongside your illness’.
To find out more about Samaritans Awareness day see here
To find out more about Denise see here
Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from 18-24 May 2020 hosted by the Mental Health Foundation with the theme of ‘kindness’. With this in mind we have chosen George Ezra as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month.
Georgeis a singer, songwriter and musician. He first started supporting the mental health charity Mind after seeing friends and family affected by mental health problems. He then began experiencing anxiety himself after returning home from an intensive touring schedule and started encouraging his fans to donate to us throughout his UK tour in 2017. He has recently also opened up about his diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) on his podcast ‘Phone a Friend with George Ezra and Ollie MN’.
He has supported various initiatives including Time to Talk Day, Mind’s ground breaking partnership with the EFL and the Mind Media Awards.
George has held a number of fundraising shows for Mind at London’s Union Chapel and the Royal Albert Hall, raising over £170,000 to help fund vital services.
George was announced as an Ambassador for Mind in July 2019 in recognition of his outstanding dedication.
To find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week see here
To find out more about MIND see here https://www.mind.org.uk/
To find out more about George see here https://www.georgeezra.com/