South Yorkshire writer and singer are ‘health heroes’

Kayla Kavanagh, aged 32, from Barnsley
Kayla Kavanagh, aged 32, from Barnsley
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TWO South Yorkshire campaigners who use their talents to raise awareness of mental health issues have been recognised at a national awards ceremony.

Kayla Kavanagh, aged 32, a singer and songwriter from Barnsley, has used her music to challenge the stigma of mental health problems since she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder three years ago.

Judges at the Mental Health Hero Awards - which celebrate the achievements of people making a difference in the lives of those with mental illness - named Kayla joint winner of the creative hero professional award.

Writer Jason Tune, who works as a support recovery worker at the early intervention in psychosis service based at Swallownest Court, Aughton Road, Swallownest, was also shortlisted.

Drawing on his own experience of mental illness, Jason helps service users - and spends his spare time writing books.

He was shortlisted in the creative heroes writer category for his second book Stigma: Worse than Psychosis.

Kayla said: “I am thrilled about winning - it was an honour even just to be nominated and when I found out I had been shortlisted I couldn’t believe it! Music has been the key to my wellbeing, allowing me to focus chaotic emotions into lyrics, music and song.”

Charlotte Fantelli, founder of Mental Healthy, the organisation that ran the awards, said: “Every shortlisted candidate has done something extraordinary in an area that takes great strength and human kindness.

“Every one of them is a hero who deserves recognition.”