My time on national radio taking about Britain’s biggest issue

By Samara,18, Mental Health Correspondent, Jill Dando News

Last week, myself and our new CEO of Young Minds, Laura Bunt, were both interviewed live on Times Radio in order to forefront our ongoing End The Wait campaign, as well as giving me a chance as a young person to vocalise my story. 

I’d only been informed of the opportunity on the previous Thursday, so in some instances you could say I only had a matter of days to prepare. However, thanks to the extensive briefing document I was sent by the media officer and Elise, I was able to effectively plan out exactly what I wanted to say and ensure that I got across my core points: 

They were: 

1 Reduce waiting times 

2 Equip the NHS effectively

3 Intervene early to prevent young people’s mental health from reaching crisis point. 

“the broken system has simply left me to get through this tough time alone.” Samara

Too often we hear so many stories of young people up and down the country like myself promised support, such as a course of CBT. Then they either wait too long to receive it or don’t receive it altogether. 

This delay often causes a rapid deterioration within their mental health not to mention in some instances being told they’re not sick enough to receive help. Focusing back on the interview itself, being able to speak my truth, and share how I felt last year knowing I’d not receive a basic course of CBT to help me navigate not just A Levels but tough life circumstances themselves, made me feel incredibly neglected. 

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW HERE: (Listen from 38 minutes in)

I also felt isolated from others as they couldn’t empathise with my predicament but if anything demotivated as I tried my best to get through the A Level exam season. 

I also tried to highlight the importance of the brain and body harmonising as one and how often when young people develop mental health illness, especially depression, it can be awful to experience that incessant cycle of negative thoughts and perceptions about themselves and the world around them. 

When being asked about how I’d got through that time, I’d emphasised the two core support networks I had. I also mentioned about how I was practising self care. 

I slowly came to terms with the fact that the broken system has simply left me to get through this tough time alone. Now If I ever started to deteriorate mentally in the future, I like so many other people have lost faith, hope and trust within the system.


This is something which I hope now as a Young Minds Activist, the current health minister Steve Barclay will finally do something to change and improve the lives of young people once and for all.

As a whole, I’d say the experience was definitely an incredible moment for me as a person, but daunting at the same time as it was my first big interview, fearing that despite how raw and honest I was about my feelings and experiences. 

I might not be advocating for young people as well as I could be but all the feedback I had was very positive despite how nervous I felt beforehand. 

However, though now I’ve done one I would certainly do it again. 

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