From university dropout to inspiration

True stories

Izzy Radford In November 2018, I dropped out of University after six weeks. I aim to help young people at highly academic schools realise that going straight to university isn’t the only option. I want to encourage people to think critically and evaluate their options rather than just following the crowd, and how to navigate the real world […]

The Value of Happiness, Lord Layard

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Richard Layard is an Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics where he is also Director of the Wellbeing Programme, as well as a member of the House of Lords and the co-founder of Action for Happiness. His books include Happiness: Lessons from a New Science, and Thrive. Lord Layard began his career as […]

Paws for thought, Professor Jo Williams (and Boomer)

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An estimated 10% of youngsters in the UK have had an official diagnosis of a mental health condition. “The complexities of modern life add further cognitive strain and we are seeing a rise in these diagnoses,” says Professor Jo Williams from the University of Edinburgh. She has been researching the impact of pets on the […]

The Anorexia Wars – 2012 to 2018

Struggle & success

Mark Simmonds In September 2012, our 16-year-old daughter, Emily, entered sixth form at Aylesbury High School to begin her A-Levels. She was level-headed, sensible and talented at many things. A month or so later, my wife, Mel, approached me with a slightly worried look and said, ‘We need to talk about Em.’ She had been […]

Navigating an anxious online world, Emma Gannon

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Emma Gannon is a writer, broadcaster and podcaster. She’s the author of ‘The Multi-Hyphen Method’ about the new world of work. Emma loves her work but she also deals with anxiety that sometimes makes her feel a ‘wasp in a jam jar’ is trapped inside. She says we live in a world with so much information and […]

Food for thought, Christine Bailey

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Nutritional Therapist Christine Bailey knows about the power of food to affect our health and our minds. Christine explains the ways that what we eat can make us feel better — or worse. She says that eating and exercise can have profound effects on how our brain functions. She has some simple, practical suggestions for […]

New Year, new challenge!

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Ever thought about doing a challenge to fundraise for your favourite mental health charity? Hugo Chittenden is doing just that for Young Minds by going to Everest base camp with Charity Challenge. Hugo says: ‘It’s a great way to keep the mind focused, challenge yourself and gain confidence while supporting a great cause.” Young Minds (one of our partners) […]

Taking the Weight Off Your Back, Danny

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Danny started counselling when he began to experience bullying during the transition to secondary school. He was experiencing anxiety attacks and his school work was suffering. His parents suggested that he talk to a therapist. Danny has found his counselling helpful because he says it offers him small things that he remembers to do every […]

No Longer Living a Half Life, Mark and Maddy Austin

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News Presenter & Daughter When Maddy Austin began to suffer from anorexia as a teenager, her father Mark didn’t know at first how to react. Mealtimes became a battle zone and the stress on the whole family was very difficult. It wasn’t until Maddy was able to get appropriate treatment that she began to recover. […]

Peers Without Pressure, Anna and Millie

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Wimbledon High Students Anna and Millie are students at Wimbledon High who take part in the school’s peer counselling project. They help advise younger girls on how to cope with the pressures around them. That pressure can come from outside: Anna and Millie say that looking good and body image are big concerns among some […]

Belonging To Something Bigger Than Yourself, Jane Lunnon

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Headmistress The Head of Wimbledon High School, Jane Lunnon, says that the world has changed for her pupils. The old certainties of society aren’t there any more — what fills the gaps is often social media. Jane says young people need breaks from comparing themselves to their peers. Nothing, she says, beats a really good […]

Why Sleep is Vital for Mental Health in Teens

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Why Sleep is Vital for Mental Health in Teens New research has found that chronic sleep deprivation (caused by going to bed late and waking up early to get to school or work on time) poses a serious problem for the mental health of teens. Indeed, even a short period of sleep restriction can raise […]