Dudley mental health star shines on after inaugural awards

A Dudley man honoured by West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) for outstanding work in mental health said the event was an inspiration to do even more.

Jon Mansell was named Dudley’s Mental Health Star at the first ever Thrive Mental Health Commission Awards, hosted by broadcaster Adrian Goldberg at West Bromwich Albion FC. The inaugural awards were staged by the WMCA to celebrate outstanding work in the field of mental health and to promote positive attitudes.

It was a chance to mark achievements during the first year of the Thrive West Midlands programme, launched last January, to drive better mental health and wellbeing across the region. Mayor for the West Midlands Andy Street welcomed an audience of more than 200 people, many with a wealth of professional and personal experience of mental health issues.

Jon was recognised for his work as an expert by experience, campaigning to raise mental health awareness and advocating for improved services across the West Midlands. Jon is a member of the People’s Network in Dudley and has most recently been working with the West Midlands Police to provide mental health training to officers. He said: 

“I’m quite taken aback but feel very honoured. I started with a blog after a mental breakdown in 2013 and now I work with the WMCA, the NHS and Dudley Council and do as much as I can to make a difference.

“The more I talk the more help I get – you’ve got to stand up, not worry about the stigma, get out there and ask for help.”

The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, added: “The mental health agenda is a top priority for the WMCA and the Thrive programme has already made astonishing progress in just this first year.

“I am immensely proud of its work so far and I look forward to continuing my support as we strive to improve the impact that poor mental health has within our communities and within our workspaces.”

Nominations were invited from across the whole WMCA region and a Mental Health Star was chosen from each area. People could nominate anyone they felt had made a real difference to improving mental health – either their own or in the community.


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