Meet our Steering Group

Eight new young people take over where last year’s team left off.

Our Minds Our Future is a campaign led and delivered by young people –  demanding their right to better mental healthcare. Meet the team who’ll be leading the campaign’s strategy over the next 12 months.

The Our Minds Our Future Steering Group lead on the campaign’s national strategy, while Rights Advocates take action on the ground to bring change to their local areas.

Our young Steering Group come from all across England and have a wealth of experience under their belts. Aged 19-24, they make up the second Steering Group for our national campaign. 

As members of this new Steering Group, they’ll pick up where last year’s group left off – building on their campaign strategy to take Our Minds Our Future to exciting new heights in 2019 and beyond. Meet the team!

Amber – Both professionally and personally I am passionate about raising awareness of mental health. I am a social researcher and am currently the Monitoring Coordinator of the North Yorkshire county-wide Suicide Prevention Programme. I am a volunteer Crisis Counsellor, and most recently have helped shape a programme with Beat UK to support individuals and families affected by Binge-Eating Disorder. I believe it is incredibly important to highlight and tackle the barriers that young people experience with regards their mental health but more personally, I want the views of North Yorkshire to be represented and to ensure Eating Disorders make the agenda.

Katie – My name is Katie and I’m 23 years old. I’m now part of the Steering Group. Some of you will recognise me because I’ve been a part of this campaign as a Rights Advocate for at least a year now. I have personal experience of mental health and I’m studying at college a mental health based course. I look forward to working with you all.

Lucy – I am about to finish my A Levels and hope to go to university next year to study Theology. I first became interested in activism when I connected with the Participation Officer in my CAMHS service. Since then, I’ve taken on different opportunities including debating workshops, co-presenting at the Global Summit for Mental Health and becoming a Young Champion for Anna Freud. These have helped me to grow in confidence and realise I can use my difficult experiences for good, so I am looking forward to using my voice in a creative way in the Steering Group, whilst meeting like-minded young people. I hope to make a difference, whilst also building my confidence and public speaking skills. I am excited to speak up for change, particularly in mental health services, and to champion action!

Nick – I am currently an undergraduate in my final year at the University of Oxford, reading History. I have been involved with Step Up to Serve, Diabetes UK and a variety of campaigns within the University. After graduation I am working in the prison service with the Unlocked Graduates Program. My interests are mainly around healthcare related mental health, as a diabetic, and Higher Education. Through my involvement in social action I have an interest in the ability of social action to provide meaningful outlets for young people. I hope to gain experience in leadership and meet a variety of other enthusiastic campaigners.

Rhianne – Hi, I am Rhianne, a MSc Biotechnology student at Glasgow University and a member of the 2019 Steering Group. In my spare time I enjoy weight training, team sports/activities and film, and I find these activities can help me lessen stress and anxiety. Witnessing first-hand the short comings of both the support services and information available to vulnerable young people is what motivated me to join the campaign. I plan to use my personal and professional experiences with mental health to understand and fight for the needs and rights of my peers, with empathy and consideration. I look forward to working with my peers and hope to make a difference in their lives.

Santia – My name is Santia and I am an Undergraduate Law student at the University of Leeds. My previous experiences in campaigning for the LGBTQ+ community and for UNICEF have given me an insight into advocating for universal and sensitive causes. Through this project I aspire to comfort young individuals suffering from mental health disorders and encourage them to pursue their rights to an accommodating healthcare system. Having battled with mental health illness myself, I wish to help others acknowledge the importance of a supportive network and of good mental health welfare into leading a functioning and fulfilling life.

Siobhan – I have really enjoyed being involved in participation work and as a Young Ambassador at YPAS, using my voice to make a difference. Alongside others that access the service I have designed and developed a training tool for GPs and professionals across Merseyside and have delivered this to groups as big as 250. I also work with Merseyside Youth Association on projects like the Now-Fest, where young people create a performance about mental health. Currently I work as a support worker for adults with autism and look forward to studying social work at university in September. I applied for the Steering Group because this is something I am passionate about, to meet other activists, share experiences, promote mental health and work alongside others to achieve something positive.

Sophie – Hi, I’m Sophie! A creative, music lover from the North East. I’m extremely passionate about mental health advocacy so I’m very excited to have this opportunity to promote young people’s rights and campaign for improvements to the mental health system. I have first hand experience of the challenges that many young people face in accessing mental health treatment that they so desperately need, which has motivated me to want to fight against these injustices and make positive changes in any way I can. We need the people in power to listen to our needs and value them, so I’m looking forward to working alongside some great people to make sure our voices are heard!

We’re really excited to work with our new team to set the campaign’s direction over the coming year. Watch this space!