Two Rethink campaigners honoured in New Year’s Honours List
Rethink Mental Illness Media Team
Rethink Mental Illness are thrilled to hear that two of our campaigners have been honoured in the 2016 New Year's Honours List for their work to raise awareness of mental illness and to reduce the stigma around male suicide.
Katrina Whitaker, from Braintree, has been honoured with a Medal of the Order of the British Empire for her contribution to mental health, including running two local Rethink Mental Illness support groups and campaigning for greater awareness of mental illness.
Katrina became a passionate advocate for the cause when she became a carer for her son who has schizophrenia. She runs a support group for carers of people living with mental illness, which meets monthly and provides emotional support as well as sign posting for mental health services and advice.
Alongside this Katrina runs an art and social group once a week for people affected by mental illness. This group is a chance for local people to come together and chat, as well as creating art. The group holds an annual exhibition of the work created, and this year this was held at the George Yard shopping precinct.
Jonny Benjamin, from London, has been honoured with a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to mental health and suicide prevention.
Jonny who was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in his early 20s, became a YouTube sensation after setting up his own channel on the site, documenting his experiences of mental illness.Thousands of people from across the world now watch Jonny’s videos, which explore themes such as the myths and misconceptions around mental illness and recovery.
In January 2014 Jonny teamed up with the Rethink Mental Illness to launch the #FindMike campaign, a nationwide search to find the Good Samaritan who talked him out of taking his own life six years before. The #Find Mike campaign became a social media sensation, eventually reaching over 300 million people worldwide. His campaigning work to address the increase in male suicide in the UK has made Jonny one of the most respected and recognised campaigners in the UK.
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