Ruby Wax OBE
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 including Dr Mark Collins from The Priory and the former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, Professor Mark Williams, along with SANE CEO, Marjorie Wallace.
Her book A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled provides mindfulness advice for couples, families and teenagers in a funny and accessible way.
She is the brains behind Frazzled Cafes, meeting places for people to share stories and give one another emotional support.
“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 OK for everyone to talk openly about their mental health without fear of being treated differently.”
Former Times journalist Rachel Kelly is a respected 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.
Rachel has also written about how a holistic approach has helped her recover from depression.Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness is an international bestseller, and her most recent book, The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food, features a 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.”
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 singles Impossible and 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.”
Singer-songwriter Melissa James uses her music to talk openly about mental health. In 2016, she released a charity single for SANE called Live Again. The song, which tackles stigma, was recorded at RAK Studios and involved professional musicians and members of the public.
Melissa continues to work on her SING4SANE project and is an inspiration to anyone affected by mental illness. You can purchase Melissa’s charity single Live Again on iTunes.
“It’s OK 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.”
Alan Sharland (aka Alphonso Sharland) and
Alan Sharland is a singer, drummer and best known as a member of the pop-rock band The Hoosiers while Irwin Sparkes is the leader singer and guitarist for the band.
Their first single Worried About Ray reached no.5 in the UK singles chart and their debut album topped the album charts in 2007. Interest in mental health and personal experiences spurred Alan on to work with SANE and he has since hosted corporate events and supported the Fundraising Team.
“I am absolutely delighted to be working with SANE, they have have been doing a great job for a cause very close to my heart for more years than I have been alive,” says Alan.
“Nothing ever got better by ignoring it,” adds Irwin.
TV favourite Denise Welch is an actor and television personality. Among her TV credits are Coronation Street and Waterloo Road, alongside being a regular panellist on the ITV lunchtime chat show Loose Women. Denise has written four previous books, both fiction and non-fiction. Denise has always been open about her ongoing journey with mental health. Her latest book The Unwelcome Visitor is her story of living with depression for over 30 years, what it has taught her, and the help and advice she can offer to others.
Ashleigh Nelson is a Team GB sprinter and double Olympian. Her career highlights include medals at the World Athletics Championships, European Athletics Championships and the Commonwealth Games. Ashleigh supports SANE’s social media campaigning to change the discussion of mental health.
“The reason I support SANE is because it makes me feel OK to not always feel OK. The charity shares the experiences and feelings of its other supporters, keeping mental health and its issues relatable and authentic.”
Robin Windsor continues to lead a successful career in dance, having appeared on our screens in BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing as a professional dancer. He has also performed in West End and Broadway productions, and has toured the UK in shows such as Putting On The Ritz and Keep Dancing.
Professional Latin and ballroom dancer Robin waltzed into SANE’s office to talk about dance and its positive effects on mental health. He believes expression is important to maintain a sense of identity, and he has helped with SANE’s social media campaigns.
Holly Bourne is a best-selling author of young adult and adult fiction. In her books, Holly raises awareness of topics such as feminism and mental health. Her realistic and comedic writing talents shortlisted her for the 2018 YA Book Prize from The Bookseller and We Love This Book.
Her critically acclaimed books include Am I Normal Yet?, Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes and her adult debut, How Do You Like Me Now? which ranked no.7 in The Times bestseller list. She has recently published her second adult fiction novel Pretending. Holly tours UK schools and talks about mental health and SANE. She continues to support the charity at young adult conventions and author events.
“I’m thrilled to work with SANE as what they do is so vital. Mental illness is something that impacts every single one of us – either because it’s something we suffer from personally, or we’re close to someone who does.”
Lynn, Charlotte and Samantha Crilly
Lynn Crilly is a counsellor, master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming and self-help author. She is mother to Charlotte and Samantha. She has written a range of books including Hope with Anxiety, Hope with Depression, Hope with Eating Disorders, Hope with OCD. Lynn works with SANE and helps promote mental wellbeing through her work and on social media.
Samantha has published her first novel, Hope Through Poetry, which is a collection of more than 50 poems on her experience of mental illness.
Vloggers Charlotte and Samantha dedicate their YouTube channel to discussing mental health. Samantha suffered with anorexia and OCD at the age of 13 and has battled hard to turn things around. Charlotte was her twin sister’s carer, along with their mother, and they now fight to expose the hardships and acceptance of mental health in everyday life.
“Having experienced both personally and professionally, how crippling living with a mental illness can be for both the sufferer and their carers, we as a family are passionate about raising awareness and encouraging open and honest conversation around mental ill health. Working with the wonderful team at SANE as champions is part of this for us. Mental illness comes in many different guises and does not discriminate.“
David Domoney is a TV gardener and presenter on ITV’s Love Your Garden, and writes his own weekly column in the Sunday Mirror. He has attained 29 Royal Horticultural Society medals, and his beautiful garden designs have been showcased at Hampton Court Palace and BBC Gardener’s World Live.
David infuses his horticulture passion with SANE by advocating the strong link with nature and good mental health.
His gardening campaign, Cultivation Street, brings the streets of Britain together to grow and develop community gardens; he wants to explore this very sense of community and the benefits of being outdoors in his work with SANE.
With more than 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.
TV presenter Venetia Falconer puts her passion for nutrition and wellbeing into her work with SANE. Venetia is a former MTV presenter and now presents the weekly series Lego Heads as well as her successful Talking Tastebuds podcast, which discusses the impact of nutrition on overall health.
Venetia uses her spare time to talk about mental health on her YouTube channel, which includes insights into her own anxiety and practical tips to cope day to day.