The Liverpool born actor best known for his role as the 8th Doctor in Dr Who, Paul McGann, has become patron of the city’s mental health charity, Imagine Independence.
Paul, whose long-standing acting career spans across TV, film and theatre including roles in BBC series Luther and Holby City, will support and champion the charity’s work to transform lives for thousands of people across Merseyside.
Imagine, which like Paul started life in Liverpool but now works across England, provides access to a wide range of services from social inclusion to specialist support for people with mental illnesses.
He joins the charity during Merseyside Mental Health Week, a campaign launched by Imagine to bring partners together across the city region to raise awareness of one of its biggest challenges and promote the support available to anyone struggling with their mental health.
“The challenge of mental health is an issue that’s very close to my heart because it’s something that affects us all. Now more than ever during the pandemic I feel that it’s vital to encourage people to talk more about mental health.
“I’m really heartened to be able to play a role in supporting Imagine’s work. Their services have a vital role in helping people with mental illnesses live independent lives, and in making it easier for people to recognise the signs of mental ill health and get the support they need.
“I hope that by adding my voice to Imagine’s work and helping to amplify the message that I can help to normalise talking about mental health and encourage anyone that needs support to get the help they need.”
Margaret Hanson, Chief Executive of Imagine Independence, added: “We are delighted to welcome Paul as patron for Imagine.
“His support comes at a crucial time as the challenge of mental health is reaching crisis point in Merseyside and nationally. Over 66,000 people in Liverpool had a common mental health condition before the pandemic, with an estimated 5,280 additional people likely to need support for their mental health before the end of the year.
“It’s vital that we continue to raise awareness of mental health and the help available and Paul’s support will play a valuable role in enabling us to reach more people.”