Nicola Kershaw (MA Language & Linguistics, 2014) was recently announced runner up in a search for the country's mental health heroes.

The awards recognise those who have done extraordinary things to help, support or inspire people in the following ways: helping to break the stigma around mental health,inspiring others in addressing or overcoming mental health problems, making it easier for people to access mental health support and advice,supporting people experiencing mental health problems to stay in or return to work or pioneering new or innovative ways of supporting people with mental health problems and/or their families

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg presented the awards and said:‘I’ve been overwhelmed by the huge number of responses we’ve had for these awards and the incredible work going on to help other people in their darkest hours. Every single one of them is helping us win the fight to tackle the stigma and prejudice around mental health and build a fairer society where no one has to suffer in silence. In my eyes they are all winners.’

Nicola is a mental health and wellbeing advocate working and volunteering with a number of charities including Mind and Time to Change (Nicola is also a BEAT ambassador and a youth panel member for Mindfull).Her Masters Degree from Lancaster was dedicated to investigating the stigma in language used surrounding mental health in every day environments. As a result of this incredible work she helped to draft and implement wellbeing policy for businesses to help promote and develop ‘human centric’ work environments encouraging emotional intelligence and mindfulness techniques to help tackle the negative stigma surrounding mental health in the work place. Following on from this and through her determination Nicola has been asked to sit on panels for The Guardian.