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Trust’s Cognitive Behavioural Therapist selected to represent London in NHS 70 Parliamentary Awards 2018

18 May 2018

A Specialist Cognitive Behavioural Therapist from West London Mental Health Trust has been chosen from hundreds of applicants to represent London in a prestigious competition to mark the NHS’s 70th birthday.

Saeed Khalilirad has been announced as Regional Champion in the Excellence in Mental Health Care Award category. He will now vie with other regional winners from across England for a national award to be presented at a special ceremony in the Palace of Westminster in July.

The NHS70 Parliamentary Awards recognise the massive contribution made by the individuals who work in and alongside the NHS.

MPs were invited to find and nominate those individuals or teams they thought have made the biggest improvements to health services in their constituencies across 10 categories. Saeed Khalilirad was nominated by Andy Slaughter MP for Hammersmith.

From over 750 entries, senior experts have chosen four outstanding nominations in each category, which exemplify the best of what the NHS and its partners do day in, day out.

Saeed works for Back on Track, a service to improve access to psychological therapies, which is part of West London Mental Health Trust. Saeed has developed bespoke workshops for the Iranian community and translated materials into Farsi on topics including understanding depression, anxiety, anger management, relaxation, managing mental health, and managing cultural differences when parenting. His community outreach work provides a safe space to discuss mental wellbeing and helps break down stigma and fear.

Andy Slaughter MP for Hammersmith said: “I was delighted to nominate Saeed – he is taking the lead on reaching out to the Iranian community in my constituency and beyond. It’s vital that we support everyone who is living with mental health problems and that we break down whatever barriers may be stopping different sections of society accessing that help. Saeed’s work is making a difference because as well as delivering care in a therapy setting, he is also a visible presence in the community.”

Saeed said: “I am grateful and excited to have been nominated for a NHS70 Parliamentary Award. I am proud to be a member of Back on Track in Hammersmith and Fulham and being nominated highlights the vital and rewarding role that we at West London Mental Health Trust play in improving the mental health of individuals and communities as a whole.”

All of the champions will now be invited to the national awards ceremony, which will be held on 4 July, the day before the NHS’s 70th birthday.

The ceremony will be hosted by Dr Sara Kayat, NHS GP & TV Doctor best known for This Morning, Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls and GPs: Behind Closed Doors.

The regional champions will now go forward to a final stage of judging by a panel including the leaders of Royal Colleges, the Unison trade union, and the Patients Association – collectively representing millions of health and care workers and patients.