A local nurse has received a prestigious award from the Prime Minister for an online show developed to support families during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sam Tyrer (pictured above left), Prevention and Engagement Lead at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCft), launched Mental Health Family Hour during the first UK lockdown, to ensure children were able to access mental health education.
The weekly online show developed alongside mental health first aider, educator and presenter David Cottrell (above right), provided advice and support for anxiety, depression, coping strategies, suicide, drug use, self-esteem, eating disorders and social media use.
Sam and David both received the Prime Minister’s Points of Light award which is given to outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community.
Since it started, Mental Health Family Hour has had over 13,000 views on social media and reach has extended beyond Lancashire and South Cumbria, with listeners tuning in across the world from Norway, Australia and America.
Sam said: “Dave and I are absolutely delighted to receive this award. When we went into lockdown we wanted to be proactive to ensure mental health education was still available for both young people and their families, at a time when it was needed more than ever.
“The feedback we’ve received from the webinars has been fantastic and we are intending to continue to do more.”
Sam is also founder of Change Talks, a school education programme provided in conjunction with the NHS. Prior to the pandemic, workshops were provided in schools to raise awareness of mental health and teach young people positive coping strategies. Sam and David created Mental Health Family Hour to ensure similar support could continue for young people across the North West in an online format.
Alongside his role at LSCft, Sam is also studying an MSc in Public Health at UCLan.
Maria Nelligan, Chief Nursing and Quality Officer at Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Sam is a shining example of what it means to be a nurse, often going above and beyond. I have no doubt Sam will continue his dedication in supporting young people across Lancashire. I am proud to have Sam as a member of my team.”
Janette Grey, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Health and Care at UCLan, said: “Sam has shown outstanding commitment in such challenging times and it is something to be celebrated that his work on the frontline, providing comfort to individuals in need, is recognised in this way.”
For further information about Mental Health Family Hour visit https://www.lscft.nhs.uk/mental-health-family-hour