Meet our Young Champions

Are you wondering what being a Young Champion entails? Or why you should think about becoming one? 

This is what one of our Young Champions, Juliette Balchin, had to say:

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Hi! My name is Juliette, I’m 17 years old and I'm from North East London.

Why did you join as a Young Champion?

I’ve been a Young Champion for about a year, and one of the main motivators that made me decide to join was simply the ability to help others who may struggle to help themselves. I have grown up around people suffering from mental health issues and have heard their individual stories and knew their experiences of going through a struggle with mental health and the services provided.

Joining as a Young Champion was the perfect opportunity to make a difference to the wellbeing of children and their families and to meet others from various backgrounds with differing opinions to improve my own understanding into the world of mental health.

What has been the most meaningful activity you have participated in?

I don’t really have one specific activity in mind, as all of them have been amazing. If I had to choose a couple, it would be creating a video on outcomes in the mental health service, as from an ‘outsider perspective’. It was really interesting to see how my thoughts differed from others who may have had more experience.

My other choice would be helping to run a workshop titled ‘What is a Diagnosis?’ at the SOS Mental Health Conference in 2017. This gave me the opportunity to talk to other secondary school students and teachers about the negatives and positives of mental health, whilst also reducing the stigma around certain words and situations.

What would you say has been one key thing you have learnt, being a Young Champion?

That the term ‘mental health’ is not just one simple thing. There is a wide range of information and discovering past that term that is incredibly interesting and worth being aware of.

Any words of inspiration/wisdom you would like to share for future Young Champions?

You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.” – Patrick Ness.

To me, this emphasises the importance of active involvement in the things that are important to you.