Hope Virgo

Author, public speaker, mental health campaigner

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About

Hope Virgo

Published author, public speaker and campaigner for mental health.

Author

'I know how anorexia makes you feel: you think she is your friend, you think she can solve everything and make you feel amazing... but she will destroy you and everything around you, piece by piece.'

Hope Virgo

Public Speaker

Hope is now at the stage of 'ongoing recovery' and wants to use her experiences of mental health illness to champion the rights of others, inspire them to get well, and help break the stigma of mental illness.

Multi Award Winning Campaigner

Hope is a mental health campaigner and author and an ambassador for the Shaw Mind Foundation.Hope suffered with anorexia for over 4 years, before being admitted to a Mental Health Hospital in 2007. She lived in the hospital for a year, fighting one of the hardest battles of her life. Since being discharged, she has fought to stay well.

hope offers a wide variety of

sessions and training

Busting the stigma and raising awareness

In this session Hope will share her harrowing yet inspiring story of recovery from anorexia. She will share what it was like going from absolute rock bottom to being an award winning campaigner. She will share the ins and outs of what it's like working full time when you have a mental illness.

You will leave this session not only inspired, but with an understanding of eating disorders and mental health. You will know how to spot the signs and how to offer support.

Parents / Carers Talk

Hope will share her harrowing but inspiring story. She will talk openly about her relationship with her parents, share research into the issues parents often face when it comes to supporting their children. You will leave this session with an understanding of eating disorders and mental health. You will know the do's and don'ts of what to say to others and be able to support those you care about much better.

Raising Awareness and enabling our future generation to talk openly

This 1-hour workshop on eating disorders, mental health, spotting the signs and supporting one another will equip your young people with increased confidence to talk about their mental health. Hope Virgo has a proven track record of getting young people to open up (including those who have never done so before).

Please note this session can be run for year 5s – Upper 6th with varied content

Parent / Carer Talk

Hope will share her harrowing but inspiring story. She will talk openly about her relationship with her parents and share research into the issues parents often face when it comes to supporting their children. You will leave this session with an understanding of eating disorders and mental health. You will know the do's and don'ts of what to say to others and be able to support those you care about much better.

4 lesson plans and 1 parent session. The 4 sessions will cover:

  1. Eating disorders
  2. General mental health
  3. Other mental health problems
  4. Healthy living, lifestyle, addiction, body image and social media
Raising awareness and busting the stigma

In this session Hope will share her harrowing yet inspiring story of recovery from anorexia. She will share what it was like going from absolute rock bottom to being an award winning campaigner. She will share the ins and outs of what it's like to go to university and manage your wellbeing. Hope will speak extremely honestly about what it was like being discharged from a mental health hospital and then going to University just 2 weeks later.

You will leave this session not only inspired, but with an understanding of eating disorders and mental health. You will know how to spot the signs and how to offer support.

Recovery Workshops

Hope will run participants through an interactive session sharing her personal story, and giving them the skills and coping mechanisms to manage recovery from a mental illness out in the community. Whilst this talk is targeted at those with eating disorders, there are skills and mechanisms which will apply to those with other mental illnesses.

Session Duration – 1 hour 15 mins

Junior Doctor Training (session duration 1hr 45) Getting inside the mind of an Anorexic

Hope will quite literally take you inside her brain, talking you through the intricacies of life with a voice in her head. She will share what good healthcare workers look like and what small changes everyone can do to support those around them (particularly when you are with patients)

Please note this session can be adapted for Student nurses, School nurses and other health care workers.

Raising awareness and challenging the stigma

In this session Hope will share her harrowing yet inspiring story of recovery from anorexia. She will share what it was like going from absolute rock bottom to being an award winning campaigner. She will share the ins and outs of what it's like to go to university and manage your wellbeing. Hope will speak extremely honestly about what it was like being discharged from a mental health hospital and then going to University just 2 weeks later. She will share what it is like to work full time when you are in recovery and the things that people can do to support those around them.

Patient / carer sessions

In this session Hope will share her harrowing yet inspiring story of recovery from anorexia. She will share what it was like going from absolute rock bottom to being an award winning campaigner. She will share the ins and outs of what recovery means to her. Everyone will leave inspired and with hope for recovery.

Please note in this session Hope is happy to add an extra 30 minutes to an hour to speak to patients / famiies separately.

Session Duration – 1 hour 15 mins

some of hope's

previous clients include

what they're saying

recommendations

Jarred Johnson
MP

Fettes College, Edinburgh

Hope's story is an inspiring one that provides encouragement and optimism for anyone with a mental health condition. Her tireless campaigning on mental health makes her one of the leading voices on this issue and she continues to speak with great authority and sense - having gone through set backs and recovery herself. I've had the great pleasure of meeting and interviewing Hope myself. She's an utterly fantastic person with an enthusiastic, engaging character.

Lauren
Student

Lincoln University

I attended a speech at the University of Lincoln by Hope who explained her journey with anorexia and her recovery. I was amazed at her courage and took inspiration from both her speech and her book. She really captivated the audience with her story and really inspired me with her own recovery.

Brett Terry
People Director

NSPCC

You would be hard pressed to find a more passionate, authentic and inspirational speaker, coach or facilitator than Hope. She speaks with authentic authority and absolute connection with the audience. Her vulnerability and courage break down barriers and give people the motivation and inspiration to speak out, to be heard and most crucially, to be themselves. Perfectly imperfect. As are we all.

Author

Stand Tall Little Girl

For four years, Hope managed to keep it hidden, keeping dark secrets from friends and family. But then, on 17th November 2007, Hope's world changed forever. She was admitted to a mental health hospital. Her skin was yellowing, her heart was failing. She was barely recognizable. Forced to leave her family and friends, the hospital became her home. Over the next year, at her lowest ebb, Hope faced the biggest challenge of her life. She had to find the courage to beat her anorexia.

In Stand Tall Little Girl, Hope shares her harrowing, yet truly inspiring, journey. Through her letters and diary entries, Hope tells us how she fought from rock bottom to beat the 'friend' that had controlled and nearly destroyed her life. The story of Hope's recovery will inspire countless others.

So, if you need motivation and belief to overcome an eating disorder, Stand Tall Little Girl is the best place to start.

Trigger Press
Published by Trigger Press in partnership with The Shaw Mind Foundation
Find Out More Here
Annabel Knowlson
Interview with Hope explaining where her anorexia came from.
Find Out More Here
Amazon
'Stand tall, little girl' is a 'must read' for anyone who is experiencing the misery of anorexia nervosa or knows someone who is.
Get A Copy Here
Hope Virgo Books Stand Tall Little Girl

Hope writes with incredible honesty and openness, her journey is truly inspirational, not just to those with mental health struggles but to all humankind.

Jonny Benjamin, MBE

This honest account of Hope's struggle with anorexia is both insightful and an inspirational story of recovery. Her openness tackles the stigma around mental health. This is a must read book.

Dame Kelly Holmes

Press

Hope in the press

Hope has been featured in the following newspapers, magazines, television and radio shows.

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