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Headshot of Dr Alex George with a stethoscope around his neck

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Dr Alex George endorses Tackling the Blues toolkit to support mental health of children and young people

October 27, 2022

Youth ambassador Dr Alex George is endorsing a new Tackling the Blues toolkit designed to help organisations support the mental health of children and young people.

Dr Alex is the UK Government’s first Youth Mental Health Ambassador, author of the number 1 Sunday Times bestseller Live Well Every Day and star of reality TV show Love Island.

He will visit Edge Hill University on Thursday 3 November to talk about mental health support and wellbeing for school pupils and university students, and his new book A Better Day: Your Positive Mental Health Handbook.

Dr Alex is endorsing a new toolkit designed by Tackling the Blues – a multi award-winning sport and arts-based mental health programme for children and young people, delivered in partnership between Edge Hill, Everton in the Community and Tate Liverpool.

He said: “I am passionate about helping to improve the mental health of young people so I am proud to back the new Tackling the Blues toolkit.

“Tackling the Blues has already made a big difference to the mental health of many children and young people in schools across the region and their research continues to provide evidence-based solutions for how we can positively impact mental health, especially among those who are in the greatest need of support.”

Alex has passionately campaigned for better mental health support since his brother died by suicide in 2020.

He was appointed UK Youth Mental Health Ambassador by the Prime Minister last year and uses both his clinical expertise as a qualified doctor and his personal experience to champion mental health support for young people.

He also sits on the Mental Health in Education Action Group, which is chaired by the Children’s Minister and Universities Minister, to look at how to support young people with their wellbeing in school and university environments.

The new toolkit – created thanks to funding from the Student Involvement in Knowledge Exchange programme led by the Office for Students and Research England – is designed to help community organisations, charities and universities who want to collaborate and develop student-led knowledge exchange programmes.

Dr Helen O’Keeffe, from the Faculty of Education, and Andy Smith, Professor of Sport and Physical Activity, who lead the project for Edge Hill, thanked Dr Alex for endorsing the work of Tackling the Blues.

Dr Helen O'Keeffe and Professor Andy Smith

“We appreciate how dedicated to improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people Alex is and we are especially grateful for his support for Tackling the Blues and our partners Everton in the Community, Tate Liverpool and Chasing the Stigma.

“We are proud to be launching this toolkit which will enable the evidence-based Tackling the Blues model of student involvement in knowledge exchange, to be replicated by other universities and partners wishing to promote good mental health and to prevent, or intervene early in, the development of mental health problems among children and young people.

“Informed by insight from over 3,000 university students and 3,000 children and young people, the evidence-based toolkit demonstrates how sport and arts-based education activities can be used to improve the mental health literacy of children and young people, and how university student mentors, schools and community partners can work collaboratively and innovatively to address local and national mental health challenges.”

The toolkit outlines a transferable student-focused model of knowledge exchange which enhances the student experience, supports students’ transition into highly skilled work, and supports the mental health and wellbeing of students.

In Conversation with Dr Alex George takes place at Edge Hill’s Arts Centre on Thursday 3 November to coincide with the official launch of the Tackling the Blues toolkit.

Access the toolkit here or find out more about Tackling the Blues here.

October 27, 2022


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