Wigan dad who overcame mental health problems recognised for his work to help others
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Kieran Jones, from Bamfurlong, was named as the runner-up in the Inspirational Story category at the Mental Health Awards.
He was an inpatient at Atherleigh Park in Leigh in February 2020, after suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and addiction.
He received the support he needed, both at the hospital and in the community, and now works as a peer mentor co-ordinator for Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, helping other people struggling with mental health issues.
Kieran, who attended the glittering awards ceremony at the Dickens Inn in London with his son Lewis, said: “To be nominated, then shortlisted to attend the national UK Mental Health Awards, from being an inpatient at Atherleigh Park three-and-a-half years ago, is mind-blowing.
“My work isn’t just a job to me, it’s a passion. It keeps me in a good place mentally and this has now made me more focused and determined to work harder than ever.”
Kieran started working with the mental health trust when he was asked to co-chair the design group for the Wigan and Leigh Living Well Service, before taking on his current role in December.
He said: “The views and feedback of the people who are seeking support from our services are so important, and we engage with experts by experience to co-produce our services. Recently, we have changed the language we use based on vital feedback, for example ‘discharge’ is now a ‘friendly farewell’.
“We are starting a peer mentor transformation journey in the Wigan borough, which will involve the development of the peer mentor role. We have exciting plans to recruit more peer mentors and volunteers which will help us to continue to make positive change and ensure lived experience is at the heart of the work we do.”
He added: “I would like to thank my family, friends, my colleagues who are amazing, and the senior managers in our Wigan services, because without them, none of this would have been possible.”