Ben West is one of the most engaged mental health campaigners in the UK, committed to making real change around mental health in our society. In 2018, at just 17 years old, Ben's world collapsed around him when he tragically and unexpectedly lost his brother to suicide.
The loss of Sam, aged only 15 when he died, propelled Ben to take positive action from this tragedy and concentrate his pain into a drive to campaigning around mental health awareness, suicide prevention and fundamentally changing how we approach mental health, especially in schools and the education system.
Ben's award winning work started when he noticed that teachers were not being properly prepared to deal with mental health issues in the classroom. He started a petition to make mental health first aid a compulsory part of teacher training in a bid to allow teachers the ability and courage to approach students and intervene early to help. The petition was signed by over 300,000 people and Ben has since worked with the government and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to accelerate its development.
Now 22, Ben has released his first book entitled "This Book Could Save Your Life - Breaking the Silence Around the Mental Health Emergency" which was published by Harper Collins in April 2022. In this hugely special and inspiring book, Ben shares his journey to date, offering everything he’s discovered along the way, from dealing with grief, to how you can support those in your life experiencing poor mental health. He also wrote the book as a reminder that in despair you can always find hope.
Ben has also partnered with a number of brands supporting them in various roles from delivering powerful, emotive speeches encouraging vulnerability to working more intimately with leaders by advising and guiding them on their approach to mental health both internally and externally. Ben believes in the power of long term, meaningful relationships with businesses and was honoured to be appointed as a member of the brand board at wagamama advising them on sustainability, DEI and mental health.
To make an enquiry about working with Ben you can contact Guy Warren-Thomas on firstname.lastname@example.org.