We are fortunate to have a distinguished group of high profile Ambassadors. Over the years they have lent their time and energy to publicising our services, backing our campaigns and fundraising for our continued growth and success.
Rachel Kelly is a former Times journalist who is now a mental health campaigner, public speaker, and writer. She has worked closely with SANE to campaign about mental illness and the stigma associated with it since 2013. In 2014, she published Black Rainbow, a poignant first-person account describing how poetry helped her overcome depression. The author royalties from this book were donated to SANE and United Response.
She has also written about how a holistic approach has helped her recover from depression: her second book on mental illness Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness is an international bestseller and is being published this year in the USA, Canada, Poland, Germany, Turkey and Croatia.
Rachel’s most recent book, The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food, features an incredible collection of recipes designed to promote good mental health.
"I'm so proud to work alongside SANE, which helps those with nowhere to turn to when they are desperate. Its helpline means there's a voice at the end of the line which can literally be the difference between life and death. If there is less stigma now than when I first was diagnosed with depression nearly twenty years ago, it's largely thanks to the pioneering work of SANE's founder Marjorie Wallace."
Talented writer and performer Ruby Wax has run a series of hugely popular mental health forums in collaboration with SANE. This involved working with expert speakers from the mental health world included Dr Mark Collins from The Priory and the former Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, Professor Mark Williams along with SANE’s CEO Marjorie Wallace.
Her most recent book, A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled, provides mindfulness advice for couples, families and teenagers in a funny and accessible way. She is also the brains behind ‘Frazzled Cafes’, meeting places for people to share stories and give one another emotional support.
Ruby says: “People shouldn't be ashamed of it… It used to be the 'C' word - cancer - that people wouldn't discuss. Now it's the 'M' word. I hope pretty soon it'll be okay for everyone to talk openly about their mental health without fear of being treated differently."
James Arthur was catapulted into the limelight after winning the X-Factor in 2012. While he has achieved phenomenal success in his career, with his latest single ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’ topping the charts, James also wants to share his battles with mental illness. As someone who lives with anxiety and depression, he understands how important it is to encourage anyone affected by mental ill-health to seek the help they deserve.
“I could not be happier for the opportunity to work alongside SANE. Unfortunately, mental illness remains a taboo subject and having suffered with severe anxiety and depression myself, I desperately want to encourage people to see the immense power in speaking about whatever may be going on in their heads.”
Melissa James is a singer-songwriter who uses music to talk about mental health openly. In 2016, she released a charity single for SANE called ‘Live Again’. The song, which aims to tackle stigma, was recorded at RAK Studios, and involved both professional musicians and members of the public. Melissa continues to work on her project, ‘SING4SANE’, and is an inspiration to anyone affected by mental illness.
“I have been suffering with depression and anxiety for years, but I didn’t know it,” she says. “I didn’t think about it. I had this image of what it looks like, and it didn’t look like me so I didn’t see it in myself.”
“I want to say, it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to not wear a smile all the time. We need to be able to feel like we can go to someone and say “no, I don’t feel good today.”
You can purchase Melissa's charity single Live Again for SANE here.
Actress Tuppence Middleton has a personal interest in mental health, and has worked with SANE as an Ambassador since 2015. In early 2016, Tuppence visited her former school in Bristol to speak to current students about the stigma attached to mental illness, collaborating with members of SANE’s Black Dog Team to run a workshop for psychology students.
Tuppence also took part in SANE’s #Glitch campaign for World Mental Health Day 2016, and is an active supporter of the charity on social media.
Made in Chelsea star Josh Patterson is keen to break the silence surrounding depression in young men. He has spoken candidly about his own experiences of suicidal feelings, and hopes that this will encourage others to seek support.
Josh was a prominent supporter of our #Glitch campaign, helping to spread the message through video on social media.
With over 140,000 followers on YouTube, vlogger Maddie Bruce uses her channel to talk about coping with mental illness, and her own struggles with self-harm and anxiety. In 2016, Maddie designed a range of products for Coconut Lane, donating all proceeds to SANE.
CEO Marjorie Wallace says: “By choosing to support SANE, Maddie is shining a light on the stigma and shame that young people tackling mental illness face. Her vlogs are an inspiration to many, particularly those seeking the support and understanding that an online community can sometimes provide.
We are deeply grateful for Maddie’s generosity and look forward to working with her in the future.”