Dr Zoe John, a lecturer in Criminology at Swansea University, has won the Inspirational Individual award at this year's highly anticipated Mental Health & Wellbeing Wales Awards.
A highlight of the Mental Health & Wellbeing Conference, the awards ceremony at Cardiff City Hall on Monday 2 October, celebrated the remarkable contributions of organisations and individuals who have positively impacted the mental health and wellbeing of people in Wales.
The Inspiring Individual category sponsored by ACT recognises those who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to enriching the lives of those experiencing mental health challenges.
Dr John's advocacy is deeply rooted in her experience with eating disorders, and her dedication to destigmatising mental health conversations and providing a compassionate, empathetic voice has benefited countless people.
On receiving the award, Dr John, from the Department of Criminology, Sociology, and Social Policy, said: "Receiving this award was both a surreal moment and a privilege. I've shared my story because I felt able to, but I also felt like it was the right thing to do. The more we talk about mental health and mental illness, the better. We could all do with more kindness - to each other and ourselves. I hope I can continue to spread this message."
Professor Deborah Jones, interim Head of the School of Social Sciences, said: "Dr John is a much-respected member of our university community. By sharing her personal story, she is empowering those with eating disorders and negative body image, helping them realise that they are not alone and there is support available to aid them in their recovery.
“We are incredibly proud of all she has done and continues to do and are grateful to have her as part of the Swansea University community."
The Mental Health & Wellbeing Awards are managed and organised by the Ajuda Foundation, a community interest company dedicated to promoting positive mental health in community groups, schools, education establishments and individuals who are disadvantaged, either by their social or economic situation.
Find out more about Support and Wellbeing at Swansea University.