A Fife police inspector who has used her own experience of mental health challenges to support others is to be recognised at a national awards ceremony.

PI Laura Gibson sacrifices her own time to help officers and the wider public by speaking openly about mental wellbeing.

She also trains others in spotting the signs of mental ill health and works with several organisations providing support, including the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group, Lifelines Scotland, and the Retired Police Officers Association.

The officer has been shortlisted in the Unsung Hero category of this year’s Scottish Police Federation (SPF) Awards.

PI Gibson works with Police Scotland’s Partnerships, Prevention and Community Wellbeing division. She recently led on the delivery of digital resources for suicide prevention in Scotland, alongside NHS 24. Her work aims to tackle the stigma of mental ill health and to support those in the force who are struggling.

Rose Fitzpatrick, chair of the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group, said PI Gibson’s efforts have “gone well beyond the requirements of her role”.

PI Gibson is one of 20 officers to have been shortlisted for the SPF’s annual awards across five categories: Team Bravery, Individual Bravery, Community Commitment, Unsung Hero and Cops’ Cop of the Year.

A special Chair’s Award will also be announced at the ceremony, which will take place Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on Thursday, November 23.

David Threadgold, chair of the Scottish Police Federation, said: “Our annual awards are designed to recognise and celebrate the individual and team acts of bravery and dedication to our communities that we see day in, day out in policing.

“Police officers continue to face unprecedented challenges, but these awards are an opportunity to pause and reflect on the fantastic work that they do."
Chief Constable Jo Farrell added:  “I commend and thank all police officers and their families for their commitment to public service and offer my warmest congratulations to award nominees and recipients."