I gave a talk at the Cambridge Union this week.
About mental health.
'YAY, who doesn't want to go to a talk about mental health, eh??' they thought.
Well, clearly a lot of them did want to - because they turned up in huge numbers.
I didn't know what to expect.
Perhaps 20 or so gawky-looking, pale, zitty kids with nothing better to do than go along and feel awkward for an evening, listening to a talk about how TOTALLY WEIRD I AM.
In fact, it was a chamber full of engaged, interesting, interested, outwardly fairly confident, mixed, personable people, who all wanted to take some to open their minds and learn more about their own....because they are smart enough to know how VERY IMPORTANT it is to look after your mental health.
The level of interest and engagement really surprised me, and we had a fantastic and very moving Q&A afterwards.
The number of people who came forward after the talk to tell me very openly about their mental health issues - from eating problems to depression, anxiety to total lack of confidence inside - was somewhat shocking. I wanted to take them all home and tell them
IT'S ALL GOING TO BE OK.
I was there, partly, to let them know about Headcase, my new website and podcast series to totally blitz the face of mental health.
If you want to find out more, please click here.
If you want to pledge to support it, that would be fantastic.
By the time I got home on Monday, I had already had 5 emails from students saying how much the talk had touched them, and helped them....and asking if they could please do something for Headcase.
This is clearly so, SO needed, by so many people. And I hope to be the one to kick-start this change in our perception of everyday mental health issues, that affect 1 in 4 of us.
Thank you, Cambridge Union. You were BRILLIANT.
My next talk is at the Oxford Union on 25th October.
If you're a student there reading this...please do come :)