#iwill ambassador mental health campaigner
1317. Sophia Badhan
Sophia Badhan, aged 18, from Birmingham, is an #iwill ambassador who draws on her own experiences of anorexia and depression to tackle the stigma of mental health and eating disorders across the West Midlands.
Sophia works closely with charity ‘Think 4 Brum’ to specifically reach out towards diverse groups across the city in tackling stigma, and has spoken to over 300 medical professionals about the importance of involving young people in consultations and medical research regarding mental health treatments.
In a personal letter to Sophia, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how you are bravely sharing your own experiences of anorexia and depression to raise awareness of mental ill health and eating disorders with young people and medical professionals across the West Midlands.”
Dr Rania Marandos, CEO of ‘Step Up To Serve’, which coordinates the #iwill campaign, said:
“At the #iwill campaign we know that young people have the energy, ideas and drive to create positive change in their communities and to tackle many of society’s tougher challenges. We are so pleased to see the Prime Minister recognising the many achievements that Sophia has made in advocating for young people’s mental health, a reflection of her courage, determination and passion for reaching out to others. I hope this inspires organisations across sectors to work with young people as partners, to involve them in decision making, and to recognise young people’s potential to create positive change across society.”
“I feel very honoured to receive the Points of Light Award today. When you’re facing mental-health challenges, it is easy to feel that you are powerless. My journey in advocacy and volunteering has allowed me to understand that we all have the potential to make a difference, no matter the challenges we face, and no matter our age. As young people, our voice is the most powerful weapon we have and our mental health should be a priority. Mental health transcends politics and we must work together to provide young people with the help and support they deserve.”