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Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 star Will Poulter joins forces with HFEH Mind

Star of the superhero film Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3, Will Poulter has become a new ambassador for mental health charity Hammersmith, Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow Mind (HFEH Mind).

On the first day (15 May 2023) of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, the West London-born actor surprised young Londoners at a special screening of his film at the Ealing Project in Ealing Broadway. The actor spoke openly and personally about his own struggles with mental health.

Speaking after the screening, Will said: “I’m really passionate about the subject of mental health as I was diagnosed in my teens with depression, generalised anxiety disorder and OCD. When I was growing up, there weren’t a lot of people openly talking about their own mental health which is why I wanted to do something for HFEH Mind during this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week to help further that conversation and continue to normalise it.”

Will Poulter with young people
Will Poulter with young people

The West Londoner added: “I grew up in and around Hammersmith and I didn’t know where to go for help when I first realised I was struggling with my mental health as a teenager. I know what it’s like to struggle with your mental health when you’re young and how important it is to get tailored support. That’s why I wanted to support HFEH Mind and the work they’re doing.

“They provide an incredible range of services for local young people including creative mental health projects, support in schools, as well as a new crisis prevention service in Ealing called Circle. But we need more services and projects like these – both here in London and across the UK too.”

Nana Owusu, director of children & young people’s services at HFEH Mind said: “We owe it to children and young people to make sure we’re having these conversations about mental health, that they know where to go for help if they’re struggling, and most importantly, that they can access support as soon as they need it.”

Ms Owusu added: “Will’s support and openness this week has been fantastic. Hopefully more young people will feel able to start a conversation with their friends about mental health or reach out to their family, teachers or charities like HFEH Mind if they need help.”

Will Poulter with Rosena Allin Khan MP
Will Poulter with Rosena Allin Khan MP

Also attending the event, Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health, Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan MP said: “With waiting times increasing and demand for mental health treatment growing, it is vital to have a preventative approach to mental illness.

“Too many young people are stuck for years on waiting lists without receiving the support they do desperately need. Targeted services with the community are crucial in ensuring people can access the tailored support they need, from people they trust.”

Dr. Allin Khan further said: “The next Labour Government will put an open access mental health hub in every community, so every young person has the opportunity to have the best start in life.”

After the screening, Will and Dr. Allin-Khan visited the Circle, the first hub cafe of its kind in the UK offering support to young people.

The cafe, which opened in February 2023, is being delivered by Hammersmith, Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow Mind (HFEH Mind) in partnership with the North West London CAMHS Provider Collaborative led by West London NHS Trust.

The Circle cafe is located at 46 South Ealing Road, W5 4QA and is currently on an 18 month pilot, with a view to launch other locations across North West London. The cafe offers both drop-in and appointment-based support 365 days a year and is open between 3pm-11pm on weekdays and 12-8pm on weekends.

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