Inspector Amanda Williams awarded Queen's Police Medal

Inspector Amanda Williams has been awarded a Queen's Police Medal for her work in mental health support services, both inside and outside the Force.

Amanda, who is currently Mental Health Liaison Officer for Gwent Police, received the recognition for distinguished service in the Queen's New Year's Honours list.

Externally, Amanda works with partner agencies across the local area to develop new, innovative and joined-up procedures designed to make interaction for people with mental health problems easier and more effective, with a particular focus on those in crisis.

Meanwhile, internally, over the past five years, Amanda has been responsible for a number of positive changes, recognising the potential impact of police work on the mental health of officers and staff.

The Mental Health Support Network provides quarterly meetings and a 24/7 messaging service, while the introduction of Trauma Risk Managers across the Force provide help and advice to anyone affected by traumatic incidents.

Amanda also set up a system of 50 Wellbeing Ambassadors for Gwent Police, trained by the mental health charity, Mind. They offer peer support to colleagues whenever needed.

Amanda said: "I was so shocked to receive this honour - it is very humbling. While it is lovely to be recognised, I am very grateful to everyone who has supported me up until now and continue to strive for these crucial improvements.

"The key is education, as for so long policing did not get it right. Now we are thinking outside of the box to make sure people are supported in the best way possible. I hope that my award will continue to raise awareness and help to destigmatise mental health problems."

Chief Constable Julian Williams added: "Amanda's work in raising awareness of mental health issues has been exemplary. Staff at Gwent Police and in other organisations are working hard to support individuals living with mental health problems and Amanda's work is having a huge impact in helping those who may be struggling.

"We are very proud of Amanda's success and her Queen's Police Medal is well deserved."