Start talking mental

Channel 4’s campaign series ‘Battlefront’ puts mental health in the spotlight.

By Charlotte Fantelli

Fronted by 17year-old campaigner Katya O’Neill, the project aptly entitled ‘Start talking mental’ aims to get young people talking about mental health.

When first hearing of this campaign I was very excited by Katya, her passion and vision, so I wanted to find out more and share her enthusiasm and great cause with you all. I caught up with Katya to ask a few questions about the campaign.

So what is ‘Start talking mental’?

‘Start talking mental’ is specifically campaigning for greater awareness among young people, to get people talking and give them better understanding of issues surrounding mental health. Katya tells Mental Healthy ‘The overall objective of my campaign is to encourage young people to talk openly about mental health in order to break down stigma and enable them to gain access to the information they need.’

One of the specific objectives is to have young people’s mental health needs addressed at government level. A key aim of the campaign is to have appointed a National Youth Ambassador for Mental Health. An objective that Mental Healthy agrees is an excellent idea. ‘This person would represent the mental health needs of young people specifically. With mental health issues becoming an increasing problem amongst young people, I believe it is important that they are considered and consulted in government and sector policy discussions. This ambassador could be the representative.’ Katya explains.

Having been involved with the charity 'Rethink Mental Illness' Katya has seen the need to change the way mental health is dealt with among young people. She aims to help people access quality information and bring about national change.

Engaging on the social platforms has seen the campaign reach new levels of exposure, Katya explains ‘I have had a really positive response to my campaign so far. My online followers on Twitter ( and Facebook ( have been really encouraging and sent me loads of positive feedback.’

She even has support of the famous and influential ‘I've had some positive response on Twitter from Stephen Fry, Alistair Campbell, William Hague and David Walliams too! Major mental health organisations such as Mind and Rethink Mental Illness have also backed my campaign and I received many lovely messages from their followers too which is always great to read!’

So what is next and how do YOU get involved?

Katya tells mental healthy ‘I would love to gain a larger following behind my campaign and for it to become well known in the world of mental health as I really believe it's a very important issue people shy away from which is why I want to encourage people to talk about it!

'I love getting feedback and opinions from everyone as this is an online campaign it is a really important aspect so I know how people are responding to what I am doing and whether they have any of their own ideas I could carry out! I love it when people contact me so seriously don't hesitate!'

So get involved and support this bright young star shining the spotlight on mental health by:

Visiting the website here on this site you will find links to all Katya's pages. You can show you support the campaign by signing the petition by following the links from the website above.

You can follow Katya's blog and join her on the social networks (links above). 

Your rating: None Average: 10 (2 votes)