Former Love Island star would be ‘honoured’ to appear at No 10 press conference

A former Love Island star and mental health campaigner has said he would be “honoured” to appear at a Government coronavirus briefing.

Boris Johnson said it was “very valid” to have a specialist at a future press conference to provide information about the impact the pandemic was having on people’s mental health.

The prime minister suggested that Dr Alex George, a contestant on the ITV matchmaking programme and who was recently made a Government adviser on the issue, would be suitable.

“It’s very important for people to realise that NHS mental health services are still there for you. You should still use them if you need them,” Mr Johnson said on Monday.

In response to a question from a member of the public, he continued: “I think you’re making a very valid point and we will try and find the right person to say something about how to do this and how to encourage everybody to really look after our mental well-being and try and keep going through this pandemic.

“Because I hope that there isn’t that much longer to go now but clearly people have been under a lot of pressure and we’ve got to address that.

“One of the people we could get up to talk about how we’re tackling the issue is Dr Alex George … particularly as they affect young people.”

Responding to the Prime Minister’s remarks on Twitter, Dr George, who has spoken publicly about the suicide of his 19-year-old brother, Llyr, said: “Let’s get young people heard on the main stage.

Coronavirus – Mon Feb 15, 2021
Boris Johnson said it was ‘very valid’ to have a mental health specialist at a future Downing Street press conference to talk about the issue (PA)

“(The) impact of this pandemic on mental health has been huge.

“Supporting well-being and mental health, including services, will be vital in the coming months and years.

“I would be honoured to try and amplify this message.”

England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, added that those with “significant mental health problems” were now included in the priority groups for vaccinations.