Hope Virgo, Author of Stand Tall Little Girl

Hope Virgo wasn’t a leader when she first experienced mental illness - she was a young girl just building her career, when she went to battle with her so-called “best friend and worst enemy, anorexia.” Eleven years ago, she stood in the entrance to Riverside Mental Health Hospital, her heart failing, her hair falling out… she had hit rock bottom.

Today she is a leader. Young people everywhere are guided by Hope’s story, which she shared in her book “Stand Tall Little Girl”. Hope takes every opportunity to inspire people who are struggling with an eating disorder - you may have seen or heard her on the BBC, LBC, Sky News, or the Huffington Post.

Hope Virgo was once told that she was “not thin enough” for mental health support. On this issue, she has really come out fighting - Hope single-handedly galvanized a movement to “Dump the Scales” and after  65,000 people signed her petition, Parliament debated the clinical guidance on anorexia treatment on 16 October.

Hope now devotes her life to helping others understand anorexia, sharing her story in hospitals, schools and businesses, helping to make mental health part of everyday conversation.

favouriteApril Doty