An award-winning mental health worker from South Tyneside has a very special date in her diary.
Karen Scott, who works for South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, has an invitation to the House of Lords from Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England and their patron, Professor Lord Patel of Bradford, OBE.
Tomorrow, she will head to London to receive the bronze MHFA instructor award for her commitment to increasing mental health literacy by delivering more than 20 courses.
About 250 people from the voluntary and public sector have attended the two-day courses run by Mrs Scott, with the help of her colleague, Yvonne Wood.
It teaches people how to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, and identify those at risk of suicide and psychosis.
It also gives guidance on providing initial comfort and reassurance, and encouraging people to access appropriate support services.
Mrs Scott, who is a high-intensity inter-personal psychotherapist with the Trust’s primary care mental health team, works with clients with moderate to severe depression.
She said: “The feedback I have had from people who have attended the course has been excellent.
“They say it has made them much more confident about being able to spot the signs of the common mental health problems, which affect an estimated one in four people.
“My aim is for them to take away a message of hope – that with early detection and the right intervention, people do recover.”