The author of a children's book that encourages youngsters to talk about their mental wellbeing has been praised for his 'courage, openness and honesty'.

Richard Bland tragically lost his son, Andrew, to suicide 7 years ago. Since then he has become an advocate for raising awareness of mental health problems among adults and children.

Richard had been a keen aviation photographer for many years and had links with the RAF Valley in Anglesey. He had been flying with 'Wing Commander Bear' and photographing the teddy in as many aircraft types as he could, all over the world.

The idea to write a children's book was born to raise funds and awareness for the Dove Service as a thank you for their support during his difficult times. Wing Commander Bear was also renamed Wing Commander AB Bear, as a tribute to Andrew.

(Images: Stoke Sentinel)
Meet the man behind a book getting children talking about their mental health
He was inspired to write it after losing his son to suicide
Wing Commander Andrew Bland AB Bear – AB Gets His Wings