Two former Love Island stars, Dr Alex George and Ched Uzor, on hand to talk mental health in collaboration with Bury St Edmunds' West Suffolk College
Two former Love Island stars were on hand to talk mental health as part of an awareness week hosted by West Suffolk College.
Ched Uzor and Dr Alex George were joined by Capital FM DJ Rio Fredrika, among others, across last week to offer help and support to students during a series of online discussions.
Mike Opukah, a business lecturer and wellbeing ambassador at the college who organised the event, said: “We started this last year and the event has grown.
“From my point of view, we need to make our students (and staff) feel that they can talk freely about mental health issues.”
Mr Opukah thanked wellbeing ambassadors, Natasia Scott-Opukah from the early years department at West Suffolk College, Andrew Wheeler from Place 21, Rosie Jenkins from NEACO and all of our contributors for their support."
Reflecting on his talk at this event, former Love Island contestant and A&E doctor, Alex George, said: “We all have mental health, and therefore everyone deserves the knowledge and understanding of how to look after it.
"To do this we need to normalise the conversation and help people feel comfortable around the topic.
"I believe the best route to this is through education.
"It is great to see events like this which will only help improve the situation around mental health."
Rio Fredrika was keen during her talk to help others by drawing on her own experiences.
“I suffered from an eating disorder for ten years and thought I was never going to shift it," she said.
"Luckily, I managed to get out of that cycle.
"I would never wish that time on anyone so I want to do all I can to share my story to help others.
"My overall message to others is to be hopeful, curious and kind – and have an open mind in relation to different aspects of life that can help you better yourself.”
Ched Uzor, who featured in the sixth series of Love Island, was also involved in the week.
He said: “I was excited to be part of this as everyone needs to understand how important it is to look after your mental health. There is always someone you can talk to.”
Dr Beth Mosley, who works for the schools and psychology team at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), also spoke at the event.
She said: “Never before has physical and mental health been of such national interest.
"We all have mental health and learning how to promote it is critical to enabling young people to build in positive habits and understand and make sense of some of the ways they might be feeling.
"Therefore, the Psychology In Schools Team (PST) NSFT were delighted to be offered the opportunity to share with students at West Suffolk College their top tips on how to manage anxiety and low mood during their mental health awareness week."