Six suicides have been prevented by a teenage girl who attached uplifting messages to a bridge.
Paige Hunter, 18, tied more than 40 notes to Sunderland's Wearmouth Bridge, from which a number of people have fallen to their death.
The Poundworld employee who is also studying at East Durham College has now been given a commendation certificate from Northumbria Police.
Paige said: 'Since I put the messages up I've had a lot of comments from people. They've said it's been really inspiring.
'It's just amazing, the response it has had. I wasn't doing this for an award; it was just something that I wanted to do.
'I just want to help people and I've been told it's already helped save six lives.'
Paige's notes carry messages, telling people they are 'not alone'.
One note says: 'Even though things are difficult, your life matters; you're a shining light in a dark world, so just hold on.'
Another states: 'When I felt like you did I called for help. It has to be worth a try, yeah?'
One more said: 'Be strong because things will get better. It might be stormy now, but it never rains forever.'
One person whose life was saved by Paige's notes took to Facebook to post anonymously about a time she spotted the colourful messages.
The mother said she is now getting the help she needs.
She wrote to Sunderland Now: 'Depression is a hard thing to deal with and I felt so so alone that I went to Wearmouth bridge. All I needed was somebody to tell me it was going to be ok or for somone (sic) just to say 'when you feel like giving up just remeber why you held on for so long' and that was my kids that's why i keep fighting every day to see them grow and Paige Hunter if it was not for you and what you did my boys would have had no one.'
Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt praised the teenager for an 'innovative way to reach out to those in a dark place'.
She said: 'Paige has shown an incredible understanding of vulnerable people in need of support.
'For somebody so young, Paige has shown a real maturity and we thought it would only be right to thank her personally. She should be very proud of herself.
'It is important that we encourage people to speak out and raise awareness of mental health issues and the impact on peoples' lives.'
'She should be very proud of herself.'
Data from 2012 showed in that year alone there were 80 call outs to people on the bridge.
In 2013 there were 28 call outs in the first six months. There were deaths reported in 2016 and 2017,including John Charles McIvor, 36.Read more at.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.