A Lewisham A&E doctor and former Love Island star Alex George has been appointed as Youth Mental Health Ambassador by Prime Minister Boris Johnson following the death of the doctor’s younger brother.
Since appearing in Love Island in 2018, George has been working at the A&E department of local Lewisham hospital as well as landing a regular spot on ITV’s This Morning as their on-screen doctor.
The 27-year-old doctor announced his new position to his 1.8 million Instagram followers on February 3: “I have been appointed as the Ambassador for Mental Health.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet and I’m not sure it ever will. I am truly humbled. In my role, I will be working closely with the Government to make mental health an absolute priority.
“Never has mental health been more important than now.”
‘An incredibly difficult time’
Dr George met with Prime Minster Boris Johnson to discuss the stigma and issues around mental health for young people following an announcement on January 1 that his number one goal was to help bring meaningful change to mental health education at schools across the UK.
George told the Prime Minister: “I am really, really passionate about helping young people through what has been an incredibly difficult time.”
The doctor also touched on the recent loss of his brother, Llŷr, to suicide in July 2020: “[N]othing 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 believes the pressures of this pandemic played “a huge part” in the death of his brother who was 19 and about to start medical school.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter: “I’m delighted to announce that we have appointed (Dr Alex George) to be our Youth Mental Health Ambassador. Young people have sacrificed so much during this pandemic and we are going to do everything we can to support them”.
Alex’s new unpaid position as part of the Mental Health in Education Action, which was announced during the Children’s Mental Health Week, will see him assessing what support is offered to young people in schools, colleges and universities and advising the government on what more can be done.
He 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.”
Claire Murdoch, Mental health Director of NHS England and NHS Improvement has said: “I welcome the appointment of Dr Alex George as a Youth Mental Health Ambassador and look forward to working closely with him on this important issue.”