our youth advisory board
AT THE HEART OF IT’S OK ARE THE VOICES OF YOUNG PEOPLE. ALL THAT WE DO IS DRIVEN BY THE NEEDS AND WANTS OF YOUNG PEOPLE WITH LIVED EXPERIENCE OF MENTAL ILLNESS.
Sarah is an advocate for a fair mental health service, particularly for ethnic minorities and youth in the LGBT+ community. Some of Sarah's favourite ways to spend time are by cross-stitching, sewing, and playing with my cat!
EAST ASIAN rep
Carol is a student in London and mental health advocate. She is passionate about improving access to adequate mental health services and reducing the stigma surrounding moderate to severe mental illness. In her free time, she is an avid reader who has a particular interest in using creative writing and art to improve mental wellbeing.
Antonio (he/him) – a 23 year-old student, studying Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Essex, mental health ambassador, activist, speaker and lived experience media volunteer and consultant. As a teenager, Antonio went through a traumatic experience of mental illness - being diagnosed with ‘Undifferentiated Schizophrenia’ and ‘Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder’.
Having struggled with mental illness since she was a teen, Josephine uses her experience, whilst amplifying the voices of others to insight meaningful change in both the NHS and many national charities. Her passion for inclusive education was ignited through her own difficulties in accessing education whilst in hospital and she continues to work to improve this for other young people.
working class rep
Alex is currently study Animal Management and would like to further that on to study Zoology at Liverpool John Moore’s University. They enjoy gaming quite a lot and looking after the animals at their college zoo.
Alice is an actor, singer, writer, café manager and mental health advocate. After experiencing emotional and sexual abuse as a child she developed a cocktail of mental health issues including eating disorders, depression and complex PTSD. In 2013 she began my own journey of recovery and since then has openly shared her lived experience as @onthementalmend through fundraising, charity treks and various news/tv articles. Her mantra is "wisdom is not a measure of age, it's an outcome of courage".
Zach (He/They) is a theatre-maker, spoken word artist, producer and director who creates work surrounding their identity. Throughout the last 7 years, Zach has struggled with his mental health and their intersectionalities as a Transgender, Queer, disabled young person. He works closely with the hashtag #nothingaboutuswithoutus and is excited to work with the charity It’s OK to solidify the message that everyone is welcome and everyone should be cared for.
Amy spent the last 10-15 years of their life battling mental illness. However in the last 6 years, despite being hospitalised occasionally due to relapses, they have begun the grow and move forward. Fast forward and they have held down a job for 2 years, they have been out of hospital for a year and they are in their 2nd year studying a degree in Psychology. They hope to help others in need of mental health treatments, therapies and those who have been through significant traumas. Psychology is their main passion and had been for a very long time even before they were ill. They want to help others and contribute to ending the stigma of mental illness
Under 18 rep
Joanne joined It's OK because mental health advocacy is too often solely focused on mild anxiety and depression. She wants to help create a space for young people with more stigmatised illnesses in need of advice and support. In her spare time she enjoy reading and walking.
Josh is a climbing instructor and youth worker; but will start a Mental Health Nursing degree in September. His main interest lies in motivation towards substance abuse, having witnessed the impacts of this. He would like to see easier mechanisms for self-referral, as he appreciates seeking help can be difficult.
Carys is a student and uses her experience of mental health issues to raise awareness in her school and wider community. She has a key interest in how sexism and homophobia impact individual’s mental health and how to reduce those effects. Her free time is spent playing with my many pets, reading and expressing my emotions through art.
person of colour rep
Oscar is a student who will be studying Social Sciences come September. They have worked with mental health charities and domestic abuse services, aiming to use their experience as an autistic, trans POC to diversify the conversation around mental wellbeing. They are an avid reader and recognise the potential of non-fiction to educate around intersectionality in mental health.
south asian rep
Zahina is an often-neurotic mess with a future committed to tackling the painful stigma surrounding mental illness in the South Asian community, and to support other young South Asian’s learn how to navigate their mental illnesses in a space where there are few role models and therapists that look like us to look up to. It’s okay not to be okay.
Tilly is 19 and is a mental health advocate on instagram where she posts about mental illnesses and eating disorder recovery. She wants to do as much as she can to help make progress with young people’s mental health services, and she is very excited to work with the charity.
PARENT AND CARER REP
Becca is currently a childhood mental health student, retail worker and most importantly a mum. She is hoping to support others with the use of my own experiences with mental ill-health and my journey as a parent. In her free time she is a keen theatre visitor and a massive whovian!
Pavan lives in Surrey and is an autistic person, autism advocate and mental health activist. He has a Twitter account called @AutisticPb which has over 7.5k followers. He works for Council for Disabled Children.