Mental health takeover:: Who is the EDP’s mental health and wellbeing takeover guest editor Natasha Devon MBE?

Natasha Devon, co-founder of the Self Esteem Team gives her presentation to students. Picture: DENIS

Natasha Devon, co-founder of the Self Esteem Team gives her presentation to students. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

As part of our ongoing Mental Health Watch campaign, next Tuesday's paper will be specially devoted to the issue and guest edited by leading expert Natasha Devon MBE.

But who is Natasha Devon, and what is her experience in mental health?

Natasha is a writer, campaigner and pundit.

She tours schools and colleges throughout the UK, delivering talks as well as conducting research on mental health, body image, gender and social equality.

She regularly gives evidence to the Education and Health Select Committees, representing the interests of teenagers and teachers.

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Natasha is co-founder of the Self Esteem Team and of charity Body Gossip (

She is also a fellow of the University of Wales: Aberystwyth and advises them on campus wellbeing.

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In 2015 Natasha was awarded an MBE for her services to young people.

In August of the same year, the Department for Education (DfE) appointed Natasha as its first ever mental health champion for schools,

But the role was axed in May 2016 days after she had criticised the government's testing regime in schools.

And using freedom of information laws Natasha later discovered she was sacked for making public criticisms of government policy.

Natasha has authored several books, writes regularly for the Guardian, is a former columnist for the Independent and Cosmopolitan Magazine and currently has a weekly column in the Times Educational Supplement.

MORE: How you can get involved with the EDP's special mental health and wellbeing takeover editionIn 2016, the Sunday Times and Debrett's named Natasha one of the 500 most influential people in Britain.

Natasha said: 'I am hoping that in guest editing the EDP I can make the paper solutions-focused.

'The untold mental health stories are the ones that explore how people recovered, what they use to manage their conditions and the fantastic things they are still able to do and achieve.

'One of my aims as a campaigner has been to give mental illness a less frightening public face. I'm really excited about working with the EDP to bring what I hope will be a message of hope.'

We want to invite our readers to get involved and share their stories. We would like you to tell us about your mental health journey, your top tips for coping, and to share your message to those who may be going through similar experiences.

To share your story, email – be sure to include a photo of yourself.

We are also inviting businesses to show their support and become a commercial sponsor of the special edition. If you are interested please email editor

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