Throughout 2019 Can Anyone Hear Me? delivered a series of successful summits held in London providing young adults with a voice, presented in collaboration with an Advisory Panel. Each event highlighted the mental health challenges faced by young adults today with a programme of speakers passionate about making a difference, led by the people affected – Young Champions.
Record levels of young people are struggling with their mental health. Academic pressure, social media, bullying, poverty, lack of availability to professional mental health support – all have been named as contributing factors to the epidemic. It is clear, that many young people are still not getting the support they need. Key figures in a young person’s life – parent’s, family members, teachers, tutors, carers, youth workers, medical professionals – can often spot when a young person is struggling but may not know how best to help. These Summits offered the opportunity to hear directly from our Young Voices, talk to various charities, schools, colleges and universities, to share best practise and to be part of the conversation.
Hope Virgo: Author of Stand Tall Little Girl and Mental Health Campaigner / Public Speaker @HopeVirgo
Hope Virgo is the Author of Stand Tall Little Girl, and an international leading advocate for people with eating disorders. Hope helps young people and employers (including schools, hospitals and businesses) to deal with the rising tide of mental health issues which affect one in four people and costs employers between £33 and £42 billion annually. She has been described by Richard Mitchell, CEO of Sherwood Forest Hospital, as “sharing a very powerful story with a huge impact”. Hope is also a recognised media spokesperson, having appeared on various platforms including BBC Newsnight, Victoria Derbyshire, Good Morning Britain, Sky News and BBC News.
For four years, Hope managed to keep it hidden, keeping dark secrets from friends and family. But then, on 17th November 2007, Hope’s world changed forever. She was admitted to a mental health hospital. Her skin was yellowing, her heart was failing. She was barely recognizable. Forced to leave her family and friends, the hospital became her home. Over the next year, at her lowest ebb, Hope faced the biggest challenge of her life. She had to find the courage to beat her anorexia.