In August 2015 Natasha Devon MBE was appointed the government’s first ever Mental Health Champion for Schools, advising the Department for Education on children’s mental well being. In March 2016, having conducted extensive research into the causes of poor mental health in young people, she made a speech at a conference in which she argued that the government could not divorce mental health from wider social issues such as poverty and the health system. In April 2016 she described how a rigorous culture of testing and academic pressure was causing anxiety in young people. In May 2016 she was sacked from her role, with a source close to the DfE claiming she was ‘out of control’. The newspapers reported that she was fired for ‘speaking truth to power’. What really happened? And what is the society we have created doing to young people’s minds?
Natasha Devon MBE is a writer, campaigner & television pundit. She is founder of the Self Esteem Team & the Body Gossip Education Programme, both working in schools to help teenagers, their parents and teachers with mental health & body image issues. To date, her award-winning classes have been delivered to more than 60,000 teenagers across the UK. This year, the Sunday Times and Debrett’s named Natasha one of the 20 most influential people in British Education.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx