otrbristol | 10th December 2015

Mentality go to Mental Health Takeover Day in London!

Laura, Rhiannon, Siobhân and Cari go to the YP Mental Health Takeover Day in London (and make a podcast)

Today we took our campaign – My Mental Health Is Not An Adjective – to the Young People’s Mental Health Takeover Day in London.

After an early 6am start, we got the train from Temple Meads Station to London Paddington. We used the time on the train to go over our plans for our presentation at the event, and also write down some specific points and questions that we wanted to raise with the Mental Health Minister – Alistair Burt.


Some of our key points included the transition between CAMHS and AMHS, blame culture and stigma within services, and issues around endings and early discharge. At the event we had a chance to ask the Minister some questions, although sadly he only had time to answer five. Rhiannon asked her question about what he was going to do to make sure young people felt this event was worthwhile and that change was going to happen and we would leave feeling reassured. However, in typical MP fashion we didn’t feel like he properly answered the questions or really engaged with us.


We focused a lot on talking about different issues with services and which were the priorities to work on. We did this by splitting groups which gave us a chance to speak to the other young people at the event. All the young people we really inspiring and it was refreshing to feel like we were all on the same page and angry about the same issues! There were lots of different opinions on what the priorities are for improving mental health services and it was interesting to hear everyone’s views. We brainstormed how all the issues are linked and connected.


During our lunch break we got to go down to the House of Commons and sit in the public gallery to watch part of the mental health debate that went on today. It was cool to see inside the House of Commons where actual decisions are made, and we even saw Jeremy Hunt from a distance.

After lunch we got a chance to give our presentation about our campaign and show our campaign video, which went really well! We also got to listen to what Time to Change are doing with their campaign.

Overall we had a really nice time at the event and met some great people. The only downsides were that we didn’t feel the Minister really listened to us, and it’s always questionable whether real change will happen or whether events like this are just a tokenistic use of young people.


Mental health services needs a total shift in culture and be brought up to date – we know this is going to take time.

After the event we went to the Young Minds offices to make a podcast with a journalist called Rebecca. We really enjoyed this experience and the time seemed to fly by before we had to rush back to get the train back to Bristol. Overall it was a great (but tiring) day!

Check out more photos on Mentality’s Facebook.

Tweets from the day: