A Trust health nurse has been awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2017 for his outstanding contribution to raising mental health awareness and advocating for vulnerable people in the local community.
Dr Phil Cooper, a nurse consultant in dual diagnosis at North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, was officially granted the honour on Friday 16 June following a rigorous judging process and a final seal of approval from the Queen.
The national honours system recognises people who have made outstanding contributions to their communities, committing themselves to making life better for other people.
In his role at North West Boroughs Healthcare, Dr Cooper works with vulnerable adults in Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, Warrington and Wigan who have mental health and substance misuse problems, passionately advocating for the service users he works with and working tirelessly to improve access to support.
Following the sad death of rugby league player Terry Newton, who took his own life in 2010 after a hidden battle with depression, Dr Cooper cofounded the State of Mind rugby league campaign to raise awareness of mental health in the rugby league community in an aim to prevent further tragedies. Six years on, State of Mind is still going strong and has made a huge impact on the rugby league community and beyond.
Dr Cooper was nominated for the MBE by his colleague Steve Hull, who is Deputy Director of Nursing and Quality at North West Boroughs Healthcare. Steve said:
“Phil has always been a huge inspiration to me and so many others, both at work and in the community and I felt he deserved formal recognition for everything he’s achieved.”
“Phil has championed important issues like men’s mental health and suicide awareness and he’s touched so many people’s lives – empowering people to open up and speak out about their mental health.”
Simon Barber, Chief Executive at North West Boroughs Healthcare said:
“I am hugely proud of Phil for his achievement. His genuine passion for helping others and making a difference is inspirational and he is an absolute credit to our organisation and the NHS.”
Dr Cooper, who lives in Great Sankey in Warrington, said:
“I am absolutely thrilled to receive such a prestigious award. It reflects on all mental health nurses and the fantastic work that happens every day across the country that is often not reported.
“My wife Helen deserves a special mention for putting up with me and I’d like to thank everyone I’ve worked with who has supported me throughout my career, and finally North West Boroughs Healthcare for giving me the opportunity to work in an area that I love.”