About the Awards

The award categories have changed over the period of time to reflect the changing emphasis of the Strategy. There are seven categories for Programs and Services. These programs demonstrate best practice models, innovation and genuine consumer participation.

The Outstanding Contribution Awards recognise Australians and New Zealand individuals who have had a outstanding impact on mental health service delivery and acknowledge a remarkable accomplishment and wide sphere of influence. The Outstanding Contribution Awards encompass the long running and prestigious Award for Exceptional Contribution by an Individual; and the top award, the TheMHS Medal for Mental Health.

The Mental Health Service (TheMHS) Awards of Australia and New Zealand media section recognises excellence and accuracy of media coverage about mental health and are awarded in three categories: Text Journalism, Sound/Vision Journalism, and Special Media Journalism.

TheMHS Awards program has further developed recently by introducing the Tom Trauer Evaluation and Research Award, the Early Career Researcher Awards for Innovation, Best Practice and Excellence.

In 2019 The Mental Health Service (TheMHS) Awards of Australia and New Zealand were presented at the annual TheMHS Conference in Brisbane, Queensland. TheMHS Conference is one of the largest and most diverse mental health conferences in Australasia and therefore is an ideal vehicle for such a prestigious and important scheme.

The Mental Health Service Awards Hanging on the wall

Review Panels

Each year approximately 50 – 60 applications are received for the Service Awards, Research Awards and Outstanding Contribution Awards and approximately 40 applications are received for the Media Awards. Review panels are convened for each of the categories.

TheMHS Award panels represent the diverse range of mental health stakeholders – people with lived experience/consumers, clinicians, managers, carers and media representatives who are located throughout Australia and New Zealand.

The award categories change a little each year to reflect current mental health issues and National Mental Health Strategies. The rating criteria is designed to reward good practice – evidence-based, consumer-focused, quality and evaluation oriented programs and services. A visitor to award-winning services will often see the award certificate framed and hung on the wall in a prominent position in the service or organisation. Award winners will receive a complimentary 3-day conference registration, a complimentary air fare to attend TheMHS Conference and TheMHS Awards presentation ceremony, complimentary accommodation and a display certificate.


The Judging Process

TheMHS Awards program is a peer review process, based on information supplied in the written entry.

Read about the judging process here.

Award Judging Panels

The Awards judging panel has always been selected with a broad spectrum of professional, discipline and service backgrounds, including consumers and carers, across Australasia

TheMHS  Awards Judging Panels are responsible for reviewing all award submissions and deciding on the winners in collaboration with the Awards Coordinator.

The Service and Program Award Judging Panels are made up of representatives from across a wide range of Mental Health related fields including consumer workers, academics and researchers, psychiatrists, program coordinators and health workers, to name a few.

The Media Awards Judging Panels are comprised of a mix of communication and media professionals, and mental health experts.

To view our Conflict of Interest Statement, please click here.


Long-standing funding has been received from both the Australian Government (since 1993 through the Department of Health) and the New Zealand Government (since 1995 through the Ministry of Health). This financial support for The Mental Health Service (TheMHS) Awards of Australia and New Zealand is greatly appreciated.

This support enables winners to receive assistance to attend TheMHS Conference and TheMHS Awards Presentation ceremony as well as their awards certificates.