Helping prisoners to overcome mental health issues was praised through the Mental Health Worker of the Year award.
In this new category Eric Cargill, primary care mental health team manager at HMP Wealstun near Wetherby, was recognised for his work improving mental health care for inmates.
He was nominated for being dynamic and creative in introducing initiatives such as music workshops, pet therapy for patients with depression and mental health advocates for prisoners.
Feedback included: “Thank you for all your hard work and getting me back to my good life”, while the judges were impressed with Eric’s work in a challenging field.
Mr Cargill told the audience that when people came into prison, their mental health could be adversely affected, adding: “We have a wonderful team of mental health nurses working in the prison. I’d like to congratulate them as well.”
Afterwards he said: “I am shocked but delighted and it’s a credit to the whole team. They have worked so hard and I want to give some recognition to them as well.”
Also shortlisted were Katie Evans and Jackie Roe, from the Yorkshire Centre for Eating Disorders in Leeds, for their support of a patient who says they quite simply “saved her life”. David Davies, senior social worker at Ossett North Mental Health Team, was also shortlisted for caring for a service user in a way which “transcends the tick box approach”.