Stephen Fry and Gina Miller are the two latest prominent figures to publicly support the Concrete Mental Health Crisis campaign.
Fry retweeted Concrete’s announcement of the campaign to his 12.7 million followers on Twitter at the end of last month. Subsequently that tweet has been viewed over 250,000 times, a figure close to double the population of Norwich.
Fry has long been outspoken on the topic of mental health and is the current president of mental health charity Mind.
— Concrete (@ConcreteUEA) September 26, 2019
Anti-Brexit activist Gina Miller has also joined Fry in supporting Concrete’s campaign.
Speaking about the campaign she said: “This is a very important campaign as the rise of mental health issues, including suicide is alarmingly high compared to 10 years ago.
“Students are a particularly vulnerable group since mental health problems often start in late adolescence or early adulthood, can be as a result of isolation, loneliness, academic demands and being away from home for the first time.
“It is vital to have coordinated, harmonised support such as suggested by this campaign, as well as resource commitments.”
Fry and Miller join the likes of MPs Clive Lewis and Steve Brine, Norwich City Chief Executive Laura McGillivray and UEA Vice-Chancellor Prof. David Richardson in supporting Concrete’s campaign. Another supporter of the campaign is Beverley Bishop, mother of Jess Fairweather, a student who took his life on campus last year.
Concrete’s campaign will last throughout the 2019/20 academic year. The paper hopes to open up the conversation around mental health at UEA as well as achieve a number of aims, including asking the university to inform parents or guardians about their child’s mental health issues unless students specifically opt out.