Meg’s commitment to changing the world for the better has seen her champion anti-bullying in schools, inclusivity and diversity on university campuses, and mental health services in public policy. She is an excellent role model and has dedicated the last few years to providing support and services to young people dealing with mental health issues, all alongside her full-time studies.
Most recently, Meg was a keynote speaker at the Conservative Party Conference on a panel with the Minister of Education, and a keynote speaker at the All-Party Parliamentary Group university meeting about student mental health and wellbeing. In March 2019, she appeared on Channel 5 in a programme dedicated to university mental health day.
We spoke to Meg to find out more about the work she has undertaken to champion young people’s mental health both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What motivates you to represent young people?
I have always been that child that wanted to sit at the adult table. I remember studying Victorian history and learning about children being seen and not heard. This suggested that young people’s voices did not matter. Luckily, I grew up in a political household and we were always invited to the adult table. It is great to have representation but even better if you can represent yourself.
As a young person, why do you think it is important to find solutions to local and global problems?
A lot of people think that they don’t have agency but everyone has the power to make a change. Problem solving is part of life and is also an essential skill in the current job market. If you can find just one problem to solve on a micro or macro scale, then you are fulfilling your responsibility as a citizen. There are numerous global problems that will impact future generations and it is up to us to find the solutions. If we don’t, who will?
How have you adapted My Mind Matters Too in response to COVID-19?
Every Wednesday at 6pm (BST) we host our Tea and Talks on Zoom. Our Tea and Talks sessions are our way of creating a safe space to check in with our minds and open up a conversation about mental health with others as well as learn how to practically support ourselves in our daily lives in the process during COVID-19.
A number of King’s students and alumni are regular attendees of these sessions and important community builders. This includes James Madden (a second-year Medicine student), Ioana Andrei (a Business Management 2015 graduate), Sigourney Hove (a Physics student) and Zachariah James (a first-year Medicine student).
So far, we spoken about demotivation in studying or working at home, managing our anxieties, hitting rock bottom in the lockdown, the importance of routines and how to build a routine that works for you during the lockdown, disappointment and perfectionism. But, above all, we’ve all just come along and had a chat about anything and everything that is on our minds.
We also send our Mind Up Newsletter every Monday, which provides a summary of all the tips we have shared the week before on our Instagram account. So far, we have been able to reach over 1,264 people each week since the lockdown and this number is growing.
We are also fortunate to be on this year's King's20 Accelerator programme and, with the support of the incredible Entrepreneurship Institute, we have worked hard these last 8 weeks to build Mind Mapper, which we are launching at the end of June. MindMapper is the One Stop Shop for finding mental health support that is quick, easy and tailored to you. It is a platform that connects individuals to hundreds of existing apps, websites, support groups, podcasts, videos, books, music and more, that have been tried and approved by young people for improving mental health.