Home News Alastair Campbell talks mental health for Grand Challenges

Alastair Campbell talks mental health for Grand Challenges

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Image credit: Exeter University
Image credit: Exeter University

Exeter welcomes Alistair Campbell as part of this year’s Grand Challenges week for the annual Andrew Stratton Convocation Lecture.

Alistair Campbell, former press secretary and spokesperson for Tony Blair, as well as a writer, communicator and strategists, will be speaking in Exeter on 3 June. The lecture will focus on the issues and stigma relating to mental health illnesses.

Campbell, having suffered a breakdown himself in 1986, has spoken openly about mental illness and has broadcast an award-winning one hour documentary about this breakdown on BBC2 in October 2008. His frankness in talking about this subject has won him considerable praise from mental health charities and campaign groups for helping to bring awareness to the subject.

In May 2009 Campbell received the ‘Mind Champion of the Year’ award in recognition of his work to break down the stigma around mental illness, and he continues to campaign on the issue both in Britain and overseas. Campbell is currently an ambassador for the Time to Change campaign that aims to increase understanding about mental illness, and is the chairman of fundraising for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Campbell’s most recent book, My Name Is, directly tackles a young girls’ descent into alcoholism. Since the release of the book in 2013, Campbell has become an ambassador for Alcohol Concern; an addition to the numerous other roles that he holds. In discussing his book as well as mental health in his lecture, Campbell will be looking at the dangers of the stigma and taboo around mental health and will consider how we can become more open-minded when addressing and thinking about these important issues.

Campbell’s lecture is part of the university programme, Grand Challenges. The week-long project is an opportunity for undergraduate students to work together with some of Exeter’s top academics in order to address a broad range of the greatest challenges of the 21st century.

The talk will take place on 3 June 2014, at The Forum, University of Exeter, 18:00 – 19:20.. The event is free and tickets can be booked here.

Beatrice Wood, News Team

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