A FARNHAM Royal mum is behind a national campaign to reduce the stigma surrounding young people and mental health.

The #IAMWHOLE campaign was launched on Monday as part of World Mental Health Day, and Rachael Newton has been leading the campaign to raise awareness and encourage people to talk about mental health.

Leading musicians, actors and celebrities have offered their support to the campaign, which is being led by NHS England and the YMCA.

Jordan Stephens, from the band Rizzle Kicks, is the campaign ambassador and he has written a song and music video to support the campaign.

Mrs Newton, whose two children attend Farnham Common Infant School, is the head of PR for Spirit Media which has been spreading the message across the country.

She said: "We needed a campaign that spoke to young people. There is so much on social media and in the news that young people are just bombarded with messages left, right and centre.

"We needed something that would cut through it all and is innovative and different. That is why we teamed up with Jordan as we knew that it would make it more acceptable to speak out and that is exactly what has happened.

"So many people have come out, particularly on Instagram and especially young men as they find it hard to talk about these issues.

"It was so emotional to see on Monday all of the messages coming through and that it is helping people."

Research conducted by the YMCA showed that 38 per cent of 11-24-year-olds with mental health difficulties said they experience stigma, which affected their willingness to seek professional support.

Jordan said: “My mum is a trained therapist so I’ve seen how important it is for people to get the right support and not to feel isolated. I’ve also had friends and people close to me seriously affected by mental health issues.

"I wrote ‘Whole’ to express how I was feeling at the bottom of a situation. When the NHS suggested it could be used to give other people a way of feeling less alone, man that felt really good.”

The #IAMWHOLE campaign is calling for the public to challenge harmful language used to describe mental health difficulties, ask for support and by posting 'circle on hand' selfies on social media to support the anti stigma message.

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