A dedicated mental health worker who has been credited as saving a vulnerable and isolated man’s life by offering “remarkable care and understanding” has been presented with a special “Public Choice” award in recognition of his hard work.
Criminal Justice Recovery Worker Owen Mutton has been commended in Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s (NSFT) Putting People First Awards for the unrivalled support he provided to a service user of the Norfolk Recovery Partnership.
CBT Therapist Peter Smith-Howells and Howard Tidman, Mandy Halliday, Emma Thomas and Tiffany Cecchini, who run carers’ support groups, were named as runners-up in the Outstanding Care and Compassion awards category for adult services. The awards were presented at Sprowston Manor, near Norwich, on Thursday (5 May).
It is the first time NSFT has invited members of the public to nominate their mental health heroes for an accolade, and saw a variety of high quality entries submitted for staff working in both Norfolk and Suffolk.
Owen was nominated by a former alcoholic who was suffering with severe depression after being released from prison. With Owen’s support, he has since been able to rebuild his life and reunite with his family.
His nomination read: “I was highly vulnerable and felt isolated and this was one of the lowest points ever in my life. I believed I had lost everything – my family, my home and my self-worth, and genuinely believed that there was no point to my life. I considered suicide as a very strong option.
“Owen was remarkably caring and understanding. His level of support on a one-to-one basis was simply remarkable. He put it into my mind that there is always hope.
“Nothing has ever been too much trouble for Owen, and I have to honestly say that if it was not for my good fortune of having him appointed as my case worker, I do not think that I would be here today.
“Owen is such an asset to NSFT and someone I will never forget for the rest of my life. Due to his support, I am now back with my family full time and will be eternally grateful. I’m a better husband than I was when we first married and certainly a better father to my daughtee. He has given us the opportunity to rebuild our family.
“He is such a kind and considerate person and always goes the extra mile to help and assist in any way. I believe I owe him my life.”
Peter, who works with the Suffolk Wellbeing Service, was nominated by grateful service users after helping them to live a better life, while the carer’s support groups were credited for providing a listening ear and practical support.
Michael Scott, NSFT Chief Executive, said: “We were blown away by the calibre and quantity of the nominations we received, which reflect the respect and gratitude which so many people feel towards our dedicated staff.
“After reading his inspirational nomination, we were delighted to present Owen with the overall prize and be given the chance to thank him publicly for his hard work and compassion.
“Our sincere congratulations go to all of our finalists.”
In addition to the Public Choice awards, staff from across the Trust were also invited to nominate colleagues in nine further categories, including inspirational leader, emerging talent and unsung hero.
The awards were sponsored by media company Archant, NHS Professionals and Sprowston Manor.
To read NSFT’s special awards magazine, which gives details of all of the winners and runners-up, visit www.nsft.nhs.uk/insight