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October 11, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 8:26am

Health Secretary praises Sun for ‘leading national debate’ with mental health coverage

By Charlotte Tobitt

Health Secretary Matt Hancock praised The Sun’s mental health coverage this week, saying it has “helped to lead the national debate” on the issue.

The Conservative MP (pictured, right) attended The Sun’s Who Cares Wins health awards on Tuesday night alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The awards recognise those who go above and beyond in the health and charity sector for their patients or causes.

Presenting the Mental Health Hero award to Ben West (pictured, middle), who lost his brother to suicide last year, Hancock said: “The Sun has helped to lead the national debate to put mental health up there with our physical health.

“I pay tribute to everyone at The Sun who has played their part in making that happen. This week is mental health awareness week and this recognises and allows people to talk about it.”

In September last year The Sun ran a week-long You’re Not Alone campaign across print and digital to encourage readers to talk through their mental health problems with friends, family and professionals.

And earlier this year, it launched its Let’s Talk campaign aimed at encouraging younger readers to speak to people about their mental health following the death of former Love Island contestant Mike Thalassitis.

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The Duchess of York also praised the Sun on stage during the event at News UK’s London Bridge headquarters, saying: “I think really the NHS, The Sun, and all of you – this is what makes Britain so great.”

The awards were pioneered three years ago by Sun health features editor Christina Newbury who died suddenly in March last year aged 31.

A memorial award is now named in her honour. Johnson said: “I’d like to thank The Sun for recognising all our winners, and for honouring the memory of Christina Newbury, who launched these awards.”

Sun editor Tony Gallagher also paid tribute to Newbury, saying she was “the driving force behind setting up these awards”.

Other well-known faces at the event included radio host Chris Evans, BBC newsreader Kate Silverton (pictured, left), TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, and the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson.

The Sun has published a list of all its award-winners here.

Picture: News UK

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