Joe Tracini announced as Chasing the Stigma ambassador

CBBC presenter and former Hollyoaks star, Joe Tracini, has been announced as our first ever celebrity ambassador.

The announcement comes as we celebrate our second birthday and helping more than 25,000 people find mental health support, through our award-winning app, the Hub of Hope.

Current presenter of CBBC program The Dengineers, Joe, broke his silence about his personal struggle with poor mental health and suicidal thoughts earlier this year.

Speaking on Lorraine in September, Joe, who is the son of comedian Joe Pasquale, revealed how he developed humour as a defence mechanism, but his battle with depression left him questioning the worth of his own life.

Since meeting founder of Chasing the Stigma, Jake Mills, at a mental health forum, Joe has continuously signposted to the Hub of Hope, most notably in his recent short film, which went viral after he surprised former Hollyoaks colleagues by turning up on their doorsteps.

Joe was diagnosed with a mental disorder known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder after considering suicide. He now speaks out regularly about his experiences with poor mental health, in a bid to provide hope to others in similar situations.

 Speaking about becoming a charity ambassador for Chasing the Stigma, Joe said: “The work they do at Chasing the Stigma isn’t just incredible, it’s essential.

“I get a lot of people asking for my help and I can’t give it, because of my own problems. In fact most of us, whether we have mental health issues or not, are not fully equipped to respond to someone reaching out for help.

“Chasing the Stigma is working hard to change that, providing the guidance, training and resources to ensure that help is easily accessible and immediate, through the Hub of Hope.

“In a mind that makes you feel alone, this charity gives you hope that you’re not and I’m honoured I was asked to be an ambassador for it.”

Chasing the Stigma CEO, Jake Mills, said: “We are so pleased to have Joe on board. He is a kind, genuine and talented man who – like me and so many others – struggled in silence for too long.

“The courage and strength he has shown in sharing his story now will save lives. He is an incredible example of how you can come through the darkest times and flourish in life. His openness and honesty embodies Chasing the Stigma’s mission to normalise and humanise mental health issues and remove the stigma that surrounds them.

“We are looking forward to working with him to continue to help people across the country.”

Since the Hub of Hope’s launch in July 2017 it has helped signpost more than 25,500 people to the nearest and most relevant source of help for a wide range of mental health issues. Its database of more than 1,200 organisations now makes it the UK’s most comprehensive mental health support database.

The web app is available online, in the App Store and in the Play Store. It is free to download and use and also free for organisations to register, simply visit: https://chasingthestigma.co.uk/hub-of-hope/