1. ITV Report

Family's mental health mission in memory of Charlie Watkins

The family of a student who took his own life are on a mission to support young people struggling with their mental health.

Charlie Watkins, from Higham in Suffolk, died a year ago - shortly after appearing as a contestant on dating show Take Me Out. He took his own life before the programme was broadcast.

Charlie had struggled with his mental health ever since his mum died from cancer when he was nine. He'd had counselling and taken medication.

But when he turned 18 and moved to York to study it was down to him to seek out help.

Charlie Watkins. Credit: Charlie Watkins Foundation

It was his twin brother Harry who decided to set up the Charlie Watkins Foundation, with the aim of raising awareness and offering more support.

Now the foundation has launched a new mental health project in partnership with the University of Essex. It's called Chat with Charlie.

The Charlie Watkins Foundation is working with the University of Essex. Credit: ITV News Anglia

“There is a growing problem in the UK, which is the lack of counselling support for those who need it.

“This is why the CWF, along with Mid and North East Essex Mind, believe in making a change. We hope Chat with Charlie will be introduced in universities across the country.

“The idea is to create an online portal for students who may be struggling with their mental health. They will be able to log into a chat room to talk with a trained volunteer who can then determine what support they would benefit from.

“This will, therefore, provide a support network for students who may currently be unaware of what their university provides. This in turn will help to destroy the stigma surrounding mental health.”

– Harry Watkins, Charlie's twin brother