Mental Health Foundation Young Leaders

Mental Health Foundation Young Leaders

Mental Health Foundation Young Leaders (MHYL) are a diverse collective of young people from various backgrounds across the UK, who are keen to influence the ways in which the mental health and wellbeing of others can be protected.

Run in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation (MHF), the project enables young people to shape the work the Foundation produces across all departments – including programmes, communication, policy, research and MHF’s strategic development. Thus, the Foundation can ensure their work reflects the diverse realities of young people in all stages of development and delivery.

"The Young Leaders have been invaluable in providing new and fresh perspectives to our work across the key departments of Programmes, Policy, Communications and Research."

Jane Caro, Mental Health Foundation

How it works

Through the project, the young leaders have the opportunity to:

Influence communications by working in collaboration with teams at MHF to co-produce resources and social media campaigns to raise awareness of important issues. Check out the following campaigns created by young people for young people:
Unlock Loneliness Campaign
Mind Over Mirror Campaign
Healthy Relationships

Help develop programmes for Families, Children and Young People. The young leaders play a role in shaping material outputs aimed at supporting people with their mental health and wellbeing. Some of the projects they have worked on at MHF include:
Becoming A Man (BAM)

Develop policy recommendations to make an impact on a societal scale by advocating for policies which protect people’s mental health. This includes consulting with the policy team on bills such as the Health and Care Bill. Here are some of the policy recommendations developed by our young leaders:
Loneliness Policy Recommendations
Body Image Policy Recommendations

Take the lead! We want our young people to speak for themselves and get involved in improving things which matter to them the most.


At least 1 in 10 children and young people are affected by a mental health problem. Moreover, 70% of children and young people who have experienced a mental health problem have not had access to appropriate interventions earlier in their lives.
We believe it is important for young people to have their say in how mental health intervention programmes and services work with young people, to ensure services appropriately meet their needs.

Get Involved

To find out more about this work, please get in touch at info@leaders-unlocked.org

Get involved

If you’re interested in getting involved with the work we do at Leaders Unlocked, please do send us a message via our contact us page. We are always keen to hear from young people who may want to take part in our projects, as well as professionals who may want to collaborate.

More than 65% of our
staff came from Leaders Unlocked projects

"Leaders Unlocked has become a really critical partner. The great thing about it is the peer-to-peer aspect and the way the young people use their networks to reach out to a large number of young people. The reach has been phenomenal - across schools, colleges, hostels. We have dealt with many difficult issues, from stop and search to knife crime."