The Roger Parkinson Award

 In support of mental health awareness and in Roger Parkinson’s memory Mental Health Together present an annual award in recognition of an individual who has demonstrated outstanding work for mental health awareness.

This award is open to everyone in the group and will be awarded each year on World Mental Health Day, this is also the anniversary of Mental Health Together being set up.

In 2019 on the second anniversary of MHT the Roger Parkinson Award was presented to Jason Hemming for all his enthusiasm and committment towards raising mental health awareness.

Also nominated for the award were Marti Dhesi and Karen Reynolds, click on the links to read their nominations.

Click here for past recipients of the award

Roger Parkinson is Karen Parkinson’s father and the inspiration behind Mental Health Together.

Roger Parkinson was just 48 years old when tragically he took his own life in 1991. He was an amazing man who did so much in his short life, all whilst battling depression. Roger was a full-time BT Engineer and was a popular figure in the community where he lived. He was a sidesman at the local church and had been a town councillor. He also worked for several years for the Lion’s charity. In his spare time, he loved playing bowls and meeting friends at his local pub.
At that time there was a stigma surrounding mental health, as a result, Roger suffered in silence for many years, with his friends and colleagues unaware that he suffered from depression. Everyone was shocked by his sudden death and the circumstances surrounding it. Over 100 people attended his funeral, so it just showed how popular and well liked he was.

Mental Health is a hidden illness. It is easy for us to see when someone has a physical ailment, and we feel very comfortable to talk about it. A mental health problem can feel just as bad, or worse, as any physical illness, only you cannot see it. 

Thankfully attitudes towards mental health have moved on since the 90s, but unfortunately there can still be a stigma that prevents some sufferers from seeking help. This will only change when we talk openly about mental health and spread awareness to everyone.

 

Alex Rigler

Alex is inspirational, and such a dedicated and passionate ambassador for Mental Health Awareness. She is aways ready to listen to anyone who wants to talk. She has a calming effect on people and makes them feel at ease and very welcoming when they attend the group for the first time. She does a huge amount in the community not only with her volunteering for MHT but her work with Grapevine. She always has time for people and fitted in to the MHT Mantra ‘Caring for Everyone’s Wellbeing. She is amazing at bringing people together and became a valued support for the administration team and also producing the monthly newsletter. She initiated a Walk and Talk in Southam and now commits weekly to the Walk and Talk in Leamington. She was a huge support to everyone during lockdown sometimes contributing to 3 zoom calls a week. She brings so much to the group from her commitment to her caring kind and compassionate nature. She is most definitely a worthy recipient of this award and we hope that she will continue her amazing work in the future.

IMG 0408Jason helps others through being open about his own personal struggles and isn’t afraid to talk about mental health.

Jason started volunteering at the beginning of 2019 and is a great role model for Mental Health Together not only for all the time and effort he puts into the group, but for bravely putting himself forward in a predominately female group.

MHT has always struggled to encourage men to attend the events and activities and when Jason decided to be a volunteer, we recognised this brave act as we know that men find it more difficult to talk. To have Jason in the group as a role model is just fantastic!

Jason finds solace in drawing and organised his first Together Activity 'Crafty Bits and Glitz, Drawing with Jase’ back in June 2019. The activity was well received and everyone that attended enjoyed the therapeutic effect that drawing had on their mental wellbeing.

Jason also got back into running and this has really helped his mental health. He is now a member of the running club Spa Striders and you often see him running at Park Run. He really has found a love for running, entering many running events and forever chasing a new PB!

It is well known that Karen Parkinson’s father took his own life in 1991 and for years before he suffered in silence with depression. Karen was made to keep silent about how he died for many years. Recently Jason hosted an event just for Men “Break the Silence’. The event was attended by 8 men (most of whom had not been to an MHT event before). Hopefully it will be the first of many similar events in our endeavour to encourage more men to open up and join Mental Health Together.

So, Jason Hemming the Roger Parkinson Award 2019 is awarded to you for all your hard work, support and commitment for mental health awareness. We are all so proud of you and it’s a privilege to give you this award!

Well Done Jason!

The Roger Parkinson Award was awarded on World Mental Health Day 2018 and Mental Health Together's first anniversary to RRaph receiving awardaphaelle Miller.

Raphaelle is a Together Volunteer and was very humble about receiving this award, but is so deserving of the award for all the work she does not only for mental health awareness, but also for all the work she does in the community.

Raphaelle is an inspiring caring person who gives up so much of her time to help others, always putting others first. Raphaelle supported MHT right from the start through the difficult times of setting it up, her support and commitment is invaluable.

From the beginning Raphaelle came to the walk and talks, and was supportive of the Together Events.  Then, when Together Activities were set up, she was there with all her ideas for bringing people and communities together and she was the first to set up her crochet and cuppa activity, where she taught a group her crocheting skills.

Raphaelle is very passionate about zero waste and recycling, so when we decided to set up the Repair Cafe this was right up her street. She now has a fully functional Repair Cafe at the Sydni Centre in Leamington. There is so much you could say about this special lady who is so worthy of The Roger Parkinson Award.