Our trustee Tanya receives Diana Award

June 2023

We congratulate Tanya, our trustee, on receiving a Diana Award for her amazing work championing youth mental health. From getting support from us before she went to university, to building a global mental health community, Tanya has had a truly inspiring journey

Our trustee, Worthing-based Tanya Marwaha, has received a prestigious international award for her work raising awareness around mental health. Tanya, who started an online support community during the pandemic, has been recognised with a place on the roll of honour of this year’s Diana Award.

Tanya set up Championing Youth Minds, a mental health community for young people, while she was studying at university. This was at a time when she and her fellow students were struggling with mental health challenges brought about by the emergence of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdowns.

While working towards her degree, Tanya set out to help her peers by drawing on her own lived experience, which includes living with physical disabilities. What started as a series of empowering and informative Instagram posts grew organically into a support network that has connected over 800 young people globally. The community now offers free resources, workshops and a podcast to promote well-being. It’s both a safe space for young people and a platform for them to share their experiences to help others.

On receiving the award, Tanya said: “It's something I just didn't expect. I was absolutely ecstatic. I mean, none of the work I've done has been for an outcome other than supporting at least one young person with their mental health journey. To be recognised for it and to receive such a prestigious award is… I don't even have the words to explain.”

"West Sussex Mind has played a really integral part in my journey - from being the young person who was struggling with their mental health, and trying to speak up about it, to being fortunate enough to receive something like the Diana Award”


Tanya became an advocate for mental health after growing up in a South Asian community in which the topic was not often talked about. Although Championing Youth Minds started as a local network, the group started receiving messages from young people in places as far afield as Egypt, India and America.

“I think there are small differences and nuances,” said Tanya, referring to mental health challenges faced by young people around the world. “Everyone's lived experience is unique in its own way. But I think the most powerful thing I've noticed is that the desire to be open, to learn, and to use your voice as a young person is something that's really united everyone.”

Prior to going to university, Tanya had received mental health support locally from West Sussex Mind. She volunteered for our community mental health awareness campaign, Open Minds, and last year, she became a trustee. Tanya is also a member of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Co-Production panel and it was our Communities and Inclusion Manager at West Sussex Mind who nominated her for the Diana Award.

Tanya said: “It's always beautiful to see the impact that's being made in the local community. West Sussex Mind has definitely played a really integral part in my journey from being the young person who was struggling with their mental health, and trying to speak up about it, to being fortunate enough to receive something like the Diana Award.”

The Diana Award was established in 1999 in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales and her belief that young people have the power to change the world. Every year the award celebrates the achievements of inspirational young people from across the globe. In addition to the award, recipients will receive training and opportunities to help them further increase their capacity to pursue their cause. For Tanya, this means developing and expanding her work in mental health awareness.

“I think this award will definitely enable me to take Championing Youth Minds to the next level," said Tanya. "It's such a driving force for me to continue to do the work that I'm doing and to continue to use my voice in a positive way. Hopefully it can encourage other young people to take action and to trust that we can make change – that we are change makers. There's so many young people that I've worked with and I've always said to them: just believe in yourself. You can make a difference and you will make a difference.”