THE BLOG

Launching a New Campaign for YoungMinds

15/11/2015 19:59 GMT | Updated 15/11/2016 10:12 GMT
Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Children and young people's mental health isn't exactly a sexy subject but I think its such an important cause that I am proud to front YoungMinds new campaign in association with fundraising platform Raffity. YoungMinds is the only children and young people's mental health charity. They raise awareness about the vital importance of looking after yourself and getting help if you need it, they campaign for better support for young people who are suffering by putting young mental health activists at the centre of their work, and provide straight talking information that's easy to understand.

The thing about mental health is its often just seen as being about mental illness, it's about 'them' (people who are mentally ill) and the rest of us. But it's not about that, it's about good mental health and how we develop it. We all have physical health and our mental health is just as important.

But your physical health is much easier to talk about than your mental health - we would tell our family and friends we have a bad back or a bout of 'flu but would we say we are struggling and finding things really difficult? It's much harder to talk about mental health because we think we will be judged, we worry we will be seen as weak

Mental health isn't just about what is right or wrong in your life, or even about how happy you are - it's about what struggles you have and how you deal with them. Everyone has hard times in their lives and sometimes things just get too much.

Young people are under constant pressure - family breakdown, school stress, bullying, body image issues, 24/7 online networking, issues about sex, often from an early age, and worrying about the future are causing thousands of young people to feel depressed and isolated. Issues like anxiety, depression self-harm and eating disorders are all increasing.

Only 7% of the total mental health budget is spent on children and young people's mental health and considering half of all mental health problems begin before the age of 16 if we want to prevent serious mental health problems in the future we need to be investing money in supporting children and young people to develop resilience to deal with the world they are growing up in as well as providing access to support as soon as young people need it.

So to help YoungMinds to campaign about all these issues I have teamed up with YoungMinds and Raffity, a new website that invites fans to donate to worthy causes for the chance to win once-in-a-lifetime experiences with celebrities. I'm raising money for YoungMinds by raffling off the chance to win a VIP day out in Chelsea with me and my boys! It's only £5 to enter and we hope to raise lots of money for this great charity. Watch my video and enter here.

Be generous and good luck!