'They expected me to be so flattered I'd fall into line', says sacked mental health tsar Natasha Devon

'They expected me to be so flattered that I'd fall into line', says Natasha Devon on being sacked as mental health tsar

Natasha Devon was the mental health tsar

Monday, September 12, 2016

The government's schools mental health champion Natasha Devon claims she has obtained emails from the Department for Education which suggest officials worked against her because she criticised their policy.

The Department for Education has denied working to fire Devon, however she believes the emails suggest otherwise. She had said education policies were contributing to young people’s poor mental health, before her role was axed in May. 

Devon gave her side of the story to Sam Delaney.

"It didn’t take me long in the role to arrive at the conclusion, through the research I was doing, that there were a number of policies which were actively working against young people's mental health," she said.

"Because I was an independent mental health advisor, unpaid because it was so crucial I remained impartial, I was pointing those things out.

"When I was let go I assumed it was because I wasn’t telling the party line, but I was told by the department I'd done a fantastic job.

"I wanted concrete proof because for me it’s symptomatic of how the government's treating mental health more broadly," she added. "They don’t actually want to change anything, they want to make it look like they’re taking it seriously.

“I think they expected me to be so flattered at having been given such a high-profile role that I would fall into line.”

Listen to the full interview to find out more