Dr Alex George, former Love-Islander, spoke to students at the University of Lincoln today about young people’s mental health.
The National Youth Mental Health ambassador and part time A&E doctor has been on a tour of the UK to discuss what needs to change.
His visit came a few days after his BBC documentary ‘Dr Alex: Our Young Mental Health Crisis.’
Speaking to Lincoln students today he said: ‘’we need to shift our focus from when the wheels have fallen off to early intervention instead.’’
He is currently working with a coalition of government ministers and health experts to set up Early Support Hubs.
These hubs would be non-clinical, drop-in centres where under 25s can receive mental health advice and support before they reach breaking point.
Dr Alex was open about his own struggles with mental health, revealing he had a rough fourth year at medical school.
He said: ‘’I really didn’t feel that I could talk to anyone and thought if I did the school would be like you’re not graduating, you can’t cope.’’
He stressed the importance of knowing what support networks are available and that it is OK to be burnt out.
‘’Don’t approach uni with a relentless mindset to be the best. Its OK to have ebbs and flows.’’
Dr Alex also focused on the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and called on more media representation.
He said: ‘’If you google men’s physical health there’s pictures of ripped guys running in Central Park and the sun is shining but when you google mental health you always get pictures of a guy at the end of the bed with his head in his hands.’’
‘’I’d like to see more stories in media and representation on TV on how everyone, particularly men, look after themselves and are successful with that.’’