Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed Love Island’s Alex George as a youth health ambassador.
The reality star who appeared in the ITV2 series is a qualified A&E doctor who has had first-hand experience of the effect mental illness can have after his younger teenage brother took his own life last year.
George will use his medical knowledge and personal tragedy to support young people in schools, colleges and universities as well as raising mental health awareness.
He started 2021 by posting an inspiring message on his Instagram page on New Year’s Day which said his “number one goal is to help bring meaningful change to mental health education at schools across the UK”.
In an emotional article for The Sun last month George paid tribute to his late brother. He said: "I miss being brothers with Llŷr and while I’ve always been a mental health advocate, losing him galvanised the passion I have for it.
“Getting that phone call from my dad to tell me [that his brother was dead] was the most indescribable physical pain I’ve ever felt. There’s nothing like it, so any way I can stop other families going through what we did is worth it.”
Announcing the new ambassador 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.”
George added: “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.”
George, who starts his new unpaid role immediately, will work within the Department for Education and remain independent of government.
He will also sit on the new Mental Health in Education Action Group which focuses on how the government supports young people’s wellbeing as they return to school and university.
Dr Alex George appeared on Love Island in 2018.
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