A tireless campaigner and professional has been honoured for helping Barnsley residents with mental health issues by the Deputy Prime Minister.
Helen Boutle fought off competition from more than 900 nominations to become one of ten regional winners of Nick Clegg’s Mental Health Awards.
She has spent the last 20 years leading local communities in Barnsley and Wakefield to provide greater care, compassion and understanding to those suffering from mental health conditions.
Through her work she has been instrumental in developing Creative Recovery, a people-led organisation that uses creative, therapeutic and social activities to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health and enabling those with experience of mental health conditions are able to live their lives to the full.
Helen was nominated for the award by Hayley Youell, a co-founder of Creative Recovery and a long term colleague on various mental health projects.
She collected the accolade from the Sheffield Hallam MP at a special reception in Whitehall, London.
Speaking about her nomination, Helen said: ““These awards are a great opportunity to enliven conversations about mental health. By sharing our experiences we know that we’re not alone and this has never been more important. At Creative Recovery we share positive messages and believe that coming together and being creative can be a catalyst for change.”
“It’s about getting people thinking about what they can do to boost their own communities and reach out to those who have become isolated, connecting with each other and fostering a new sense of acceptance and belonging.”
Mr Clegg, Liberal Democrat leader and MP for Sheffield Hallam, said: “I have been fighting hard to raise the profile of mental health issues and help break down the stigma that surrounds it so no-one has to suffer in silence.
“We’ve made great strides, but we need people like Helen who are working every day for people with mental health issues.
“Through committed campaigning and creative organisation, Helen has driven positive change in her local community, helping those suffering from mental health conditions to be better understood, respected and cared for.”