Gallery of Honour
PRESENTER: The Honourable Greg Hunt, MP, Federal Minister for Health and Minister for Sport
Helen Morton was the Western Australian Minister for Mental Health; Disability Services; Child Protection between 14 December 2010 – 31 March 2016. During her two terms, Helen was responsible for significant change in the mental health landscape; leading important reform and introducing policies, plans and decisions which reinforced person-centred care, recovery focus, prevention and early intervention.
During Helen’s time in government, WA introduced the Mental Health Act, completed the Mental Health Ten Year Plan and was the first jurisdiction in Australia to establish a Mental Health Commission.
Helen was a strong supporter of the community mental health sector – both politically and personally. She made time to attend mental health forums in a professional capacity; and events on weekends, reflecting her personal interest of being involved with – and supporting – her local community.
This award represents an acknowledgement of an exceptional contribution, the results of which will flow on to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of all.
Each year individuals are nominated for this award by their peers. The winner is then selected by a panel of experts from across Australia.
Pamela Rutledge is an inspiring visionary leader who is a highly-motivated, values-driven, results-oriented strategic thinker, with a passion for people’s rights, including people with a disability, a mental health issue and who experience discrimination or social injustice. She has led innovative reforms in social policy, human and disability rights and resources in the health and community service sectors in government and community managed sectors. A Social Worker by profession, Pamela, was appointed the Executive Officer of the Richmond Inquiry in 1982. In 2012 Pamela led the successful merger of two large and longstanding community managed mental health organisations to become Flourish Australia. Pamela is currently CEO of Flourish Australia and Chair of the NSW Mental Health Co-ordinating Council, having been on its voluntary board for many years. She is also a member of the board of Community Mental Health Australia and part-time Member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal.
Pamela Rutledge is the CEO of Flourish Australia, a leading community managed organisation providing community based support and employment services for over 4700 people living with a mental health issue and psychosocial disabilities across NSW and South-East Queensland each year. With an operating budget of $56 million, generated through funding from Australian and State governments, PHNs, and its own community businesses, Flourish employs 700 staff, 50% of whom identify as having a personal lived experience of mental health issues and recovery. Flourish Australia employs 145 Lived Experience Peer Workers, the largest number of Peer Workers in any single service in Australia.
This award represents an acknowledgement of an exceptional contribution, the results of which will flow on to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of all.
Each year individuals are nominated for this award by their peers. The winner is then selected by a panel of experts from across Australia.
PRESENTER: Kevin Allan, Mental Health Commissioner, Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner, New Zealand
Founding Director, Melbourne Social Equity Institute, University of Melbourne.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF AWARD RECIPIENT
Professor Bernadette McSherry is the Foundation Director of the Melbourne Social Equity Institute at the University of Melbourne. She is an internationally recognised legal academic in the field of mental health law (and criminal law) and became an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow in December 2007. Professor McSherry is widely recognised for advancing human rights-based mental health services in Australia and internationally. Her work on ‘supported decision-making’ has helped shape current law, policy and practice, which aims to strengthen the self-determination and right to health of mental health service users.
After working as a solicitor at Coltmans and as an Associate for the then Justice James Gobbo at the Supreme Court of Victoria, Professor McSherry commenced her academic career in the Monash Law School in 1991. At this point, she began contributing to the mental health law field. She became the Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Law and Mental Health in June 2011 and in that year she was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.
From 2001, she has served as a Legal Member of the Mental Health Review Board of Victoria and was a Legal Member of the Psychosurgery Review Board of Victoria from 2005-2010.
Professor McSherry is a member of the editorial committees of the International Journal of Forensic Mental Health; the Journal of Commonwealth Criminal Law; Psychology, Public Policy and Law; Psychiatry, Psychology and Law and is the co-editor of the Legal Issues Column for the Journal of Law and Medicine.
This award represents an acknowledgement of an exceptional contribution, the results of which will flow on to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of all.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF AWARD RECIPIENT
Since 1987, Jenny Burger’s dedicated efforts have played a key role in improving mental health services in Victoria, emphasising the crucial role of families in the sector. Jenny was Deputy-Director of Schizophrenia Fellowship, the first Victorian organisation to provide community-based mental health services, vocational opportunities and supported accommodation. Jenny continued voluntary work as Deputy-Chair of Tandem and carer representative on National Mental Health Consumer & Carer Forum. She chaired the Forum’s Privacy, Confidentiality & Information Sharing Group, Southern Mental Health Association and Carer Consultant Network Victoria. She has trained staff in clinical and community services in working with families. At North West Area Mental Health Service, Jenny established a Carer Steering Committee, carer support groups, referral service, policies, brochures and training programs. She represented carers on a team redesigning services and is Co-Chair of the Consumer & Carer Advisory Group. NWAMHS is now recognised as a leader in family-inclusive practice.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF ORGANISATIONS
Schizophrenia Fellowship of Victoria, formed 1978, one of the first non-government mental-health services in Victoria, set up employment programs, supported accommodation, support groups, respite services, community education, residential rehabilitation, day programs, and mutual support and self-help programs. It now operates as MI Fellowship in Victoria, ACT, NSW and Tasmania.
Tandem (previously Victorian Mental Health Carers Network) is the peak body for mental health carers in Victoria, formed in the mid-1990s. For its organisational and individual members, it provides government interface, systemic advocacy, management of Carer Support Fund, support to Carer Consultant Network Victoria and Australian BPD Foundation, training, information services, Carer Forums and Carer Partnership Dialogue.
North West Area Mental Health Service, one of four adult mental health services within North West Mental Health, serves the Cities of Hume and Moreland. It provides triage, community teams, adult in-patient unit, community care unit and non-urgent mental health services.
Founder of The Mind and Body Group
2016 OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT FOR PEER WORK IN NEW ZEALAND AWARD
Awarded to Jim Burdett, Auckland, New Zealand. Jim is the founder, and until the end of 2015 was the director, of The Mind and Body Group and has been active in consumer affairs since 1997 in a variety of roles.
This award represents an acknowledgement of an outstanding peer who has had significant influence on the development of the service user, consumer and peer workforce and has demonstrated leadership in bringing about innovation and sustainable change within that workforce in the area of mental health and addiction.
PRESENTER: The Hon Dr Kay Patterson, National Mental Health Commissioner
Director, Research at Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, VIC
President Elect of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA)
Professor Helen Herrman is a world leader in psychiatry, public health and community mental health service reform. Professor Herrman’s endeavours have led to major advances in scholarship, academic development and clinical practice in local, national and international frameworks of policy and practice. Her lifetime of accomplishments were recently recognised with her election as President Elect of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), the first Australian to achieve this and the first woman in three decades. Herrman is Professor of Psychiatry at Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health and the Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, and Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health. Today, many thousands of people across the globe are now receiving the best practice in mental health care because of Herrman’s tireless championing of reform and progress in mental health services.
Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health is the world’s leading research and knowledge translation organisation focusing on mental ill-health in young people. At Orygen, our leadership and staff work to deliver cutting-edge research, policy development, innovative clinical services, and evidence-based training and education to ensure that there is continuous improvement in the treatments and care provided to young people experiencing mental ill-health. Our work has created a new, more positive approach to the prevention and treatment of mental disorders, and has developed new models of care for young people with emerging disorders. This work has been translated into a worldwide shift in services and treatments to include a primary focus on getting well and staying well, and health care models that include partnership with young people and families
The Bouverie Centre, VIC
Brendan qualified as a social worker in 1982 and commenced his career in mental health in 1987. He worked in adult mental health in Victoria for ten years before moving in 2006 to the Bouverie Centre where he is the manager of the Mental Health Program. Brendan has devoted his work life to changing the practices of mental health services to routinely include families and has pioneered implementation approaches using evidence based models, including Building Family Skills Together, Multiple Family Groups, and Single Session Family Consultation, in adult and youth mental health services. In addition to qualifications in Family Therapy, Brendan has just completed his PhD titled ‘Building Family Skills Together – Implementing Family Interventions in an adult mental health team’. Brendan is the consummate quiet achiever. His dedication to embedding family inclusive practice, his values of respecting lived experiences and striving to change practice is an inspiration to those who know him. His astonishing knowledge, compassionate personality, and incredible work ethic make him a delight to work with and admired by all his colleagues. The Bouverie Centre is a state-wide specialist mental health service that aims to improve the lives of individuals and families through working with family and other significant relationships. This is achieved through providing clinical services to 200 families a year and through service and workforce development, academic training and research. The Bouverie Centre operates under the auspice of La Trobe University and has an EFT of 30 that comprises specialist family practitioners and administrative staff. The Centre receives funding from the Mental Health, Ageing and Wellbeing Division of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. The Mental Health Program aims to build capacity of mental health services to constructively engage families through innovative implementation projects and practice model design and adaption. The program comprises a manager, a Carer Academic, the state-wide co-ordinator of the Families where a Parent has a Mental Illness strategy and two Family Practice Consultants This award represents an acknowledgement of an exceptional contribution, the results of which will flow on to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of all.
Psychologist, Tauranga, New Zealand
Janet Peters’ contribution to the mental health field is extensive both within New Zealand and internationally. While not often “the public face” of projects or topics, she has quietly led significant “behind the scenes” work in many areas. Examples of her work nationally includes:
• Like Minds Like Mine campaign to reduce stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness
• The National Depression Initiative
• Talking Therapies
• The International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership.
Janet has published many reports and articles in the mental health and primary care sectors. In addition, her own experience as a child of parents with mental health problems, has led to an interest in supporting children, thus she has published a book for children aimed at providing an opportunity for them to talk about illness and recovery with their parents or support person.
Underpinning her career accomplishments are her empathy, compassion, loyalty, sense of humour, creativity and love of learning.
This award represents an acknowledgement of an exceptional contribution, the results of which will flow on to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of all.
PRESENTER: Professor Fiona Stanley Distinguished Research Professor at the School of Paediatrics and Child Health, UWA; Vice Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Melbourne
Douglas Holmes, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, NSW
Mental Health Consumer Participation Officer,
St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, NSW
Douglas’s contribution to the Mental Health Service at a local, state, and national level over a long period started in 1992 when he was diagnosed with Bipolar affective disorder. The TheMHS conference in Brisbane in 1996 inspired him to change the mental health service so that other consumers could have a better recovery journey than he and his family had. He became a member of the NSW Consumer Advisory Group Mental Health incorporated (NSW CAG) from 1997 to 2000, and a founding member of the Australian Mental Health Consumer Network from 1997. He became the NSW CAG’s Executive Officer from 2000 till 2006. His goal was to embed consumer participation at the core of Mental Health Service in NSW. Since 2006 Douglas has worked at St Vincents Hospital as the Mental Health Consumer Participation Officer to put the policies he had worked on into action.
The Inner City SUPER Group is a consumer group in the O’Brien Centre at St Vincent’s Hospital, Inner City Health Program. It allows people with an interest in Recovery to network and share ideas that promote St Vincent’s Hospital becoming a recovery-focused service. The aim of participants in the Inner City SUPER Group (Service Users, Participating, Educating and Researching), is for people to go there and find out and share ideas about recovery. SUPER group members encourages participants to identify their dreams, find out what they want to do, then encourage people to use their Consumer Wellness Plans to find out their strengths and identify strategies to stay well and follow their dreams. Service providers visit the group by invitation, consulting with members about projects in the Mental Health Service, and give their support and information about services available. Interested people from across the Inner City community can participate in the group.
Awarded in recognition of unswerving dedication to the betterment of services to support consumer wellbeing; for extraordinary determination to ask questions and seek out answers; for outstanding expertise, freely given, with a “can do” attitude be it for national policy or a local art group.
Mater Child and Youth Mental Health Service, Mater Health Services
Erica Lee, Exceptional Manager Exceptional contributor to Child and adolescent mental health services has had a crucial leadership role in the transformation of local isolated services into an integrated organisation, and in doing so delivered a ten -fold increase in mental health services to children, youth and families. Erica has been committed to listening to the consumers of the service, responding to their needs and driving the development of numerous programs many a first of their kind for Queensland. Eg eg KIDZ Club first Copmi service in Queensland, Multicultural Program and interagency meetings. Erica took a leading role in employing the first Indigenous Consultant and Consumer Consultants in CYMHS in Queensland and in 2002 she facilitated the establishment of the kidsinmind Research Unit. Erica has been at the forefront of child and adolescent mental health services in Queensland for more than 20 years and in recent years involved nationally and internationally through the IIMHL leadership program. She has advocated tirelessly for resources and models of care that meet the needs of this particular population. Mater CYMHS commenced in 1996.
Mater Child and Youth Mental Health Service provides specialised assessment and treatment services for children, young people and their families who are experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties and complex mental disorders. The service provides predominantly public health services managed by Mater Health Services. The service covers a large geographical area with an estimated population of 415,300 of which 124 200 (30%) are children and adolescents aged 0-19 years. A significant proportion is of a non-English speaking background (18%) and 1.45% are from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent. There are 145 schools in the catchment area. The service employs approximately 300 staff (150 FTE) and operates a budget in excess AUD20 million/annum. The service includes a 12 bed child and adolescent inpatient unit, an Extended Hours and Consultation Liaison Service and a Day Program. Specialist services include a Research Unit, Infant Mental Health Team, a Disaster Response Team of international acclaim and an Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Service. Four community clinics operate in the southern suburbs of Brisbane as well as Brisbane South Evolve, a state wide service cross government initiative that aims to enhance mental health, school attendance and behavioural support for young people in the care of Department of Communities.
Awarded in recognition of outstanding dedication and leadership at the front line of service delivery; negotiating complex times to create an internationally recognised Child and Youth Mental Health Service where all involved can contribute with confidence to the vision and to the outcomes.
PRESENTER: Senator Jacinta Collins, Federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing and Professor Allan Fels, AO, Chair, National Mental Health Commission.
Margaret Leggatt, Victoria
Dr. Margaret Leggatt has been a passionate and tireless advocate for the improvement of state, national and international mental health service and provision for the past 40 years.
Dr Leggatt’s hard work and determination to help de-stigmatize mental illness, promote involvement of families and carers in treatment and care planning and in decision making for people with a mental illness plus her advocacy on behalf of carers are unparalleled. Apart from her numerous publications, Margaret has recently resourced and assisted in the development and of the “Families as Partners in Mental Health” training course and continues to be in demand to deliver this training to mental health staff and undergraduates.
Margaret’s personal qualities of compassion and empathy coupled with her spirit and zest for life underpin her career accomplishments.
Anne Helm, Wellington, New Zealand
Anne Helm has worked tirelessly to highlight psychiatric abuse and advocate for change within mental health services in New Zealand. She has been at the forefront of the consumer movement in New Zealand for over thirty years and remains as passionate about the issues today, devoting time and energy to the cause of recovery and resolving issues from the past.
Anne’s work includes:
Panel member of the Confidential Forum for Former Inpatients of Psychiatric Hospitals established by the New Zealand Government.
Subsequent advocacy for a government response to the Forum findings including appearing in the Mental Notes
Advocacy and advisory work at local and national level
Work to promote the elimination of seclusion within mental health services in New Zealand
Mentoring and supporting the next generation of consumers
PRESENTER: Professor Allan Fels, AO, Chair, National Mental Health Commission and Dean, Australia and New Zealand School Of Government
Trevor Hazell, NSW
Trevor Hazell has worked at the Hunter Institute of Mental Health for 15 years and led the organisation as its Director for the past ten. He has worked to expand the Institute’s focus to include the application of health promotion strategies to the field of mental health. He led its early work in exploring ways in which professionals from a range of sectors can play a role in building resilience in individuals and communities leading to the evolution of the Institute’s Mindframe and Response Ability programs. In recent years he has supported the growth of the Institute’s work to include the development of models to better understand mental health promotion and the prevention of mental ill-health and the development of a national program to address the impact of major depression on those who love or care for a person with depression (the Partners in Depression Program). He is a leader who has invested in building the capacity of the Institute’s staff and other partners to ensure a co-ordinated and collaborative approach to improving mental health outcomes in Australia.
This award honours a collaborative leadership style which fosters the capacity of others to strive for innovation and excellence.
Since 1995, Barbara Hocking has been Executive Director of SANE Australia – a national charity working for a better life for all people affected by mental illness through education and support, applied research and campaigning for improved services and attitudes.
Amongst other responsibilities, Barbara is a member of the Australian Suicide Prevention Advisory Council, the National Media and Mental Health Working Group, and serves on the Boards of SANE Australia and RUOK? Limited.
Barbara was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and educated at Queen’s University where she gained a BSc (Hons) in Zoology, before going on to study Education and Health Education.
Previously SANE’s Education Officer, Barbara has also worked in Health Promotion and Education in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Papua New Guinea.
She retired from her position as Executive Director of SANE Australia on 15 July 2012.
SANE works in partnership with a wide range of community, professional, academic, philanthropic and corporate groups and has won a number of awards for its applied research, education, campaigning and community awareness work.
SANE operates the SANE Helpline, a national 1800 Freecall telephone and online Helpline service, providing information and advice on all mental illnesses and referral to local services and through which the community’s concerns on a wide range of mental health issues are monitored. Reducing the stigma associated with mental illness, suicide prevention and improving the overall health of people with chronic illness (improved physical health for people with mental illness and improved mental health for people with other chronic conditions), are important campaign areas for SANE. (More can be learned about this work at www.sane.org.)
This award is in recognition of extraordinary leadership and dedication to the understanding of mental health issues within Australia and internationally; For a powerful positive influence in the area of stigma and discrimination reduction; For participation with wisdom and creativity in domains ranging from mental health policy development to groundbreaking TV programs. The results of which will flow on to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of all.
PRESENTER: The Hon. Mark Butler MP, Federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
Leanne Craze, NSW
Dr Leanne Craze’s contribution to the field of mental health is through long professional contribution since the 1980s and commitment to supporting a national mental health consumer voice and leadership of the innovation inherent in the consumer consultation and outcome of the 2009 Commonwealth Government sponsored Scoping Study to inform the Establishment of a New Peak National Mental Health Consumer Organisation.
Leanne is widely acclaimed for her expertise in social research consultancy and her extensive knowledge of and contribution to mental health policy, service design and delivery and law. Her understanding of and commitment to principles and practice of social justice are also widely acknowledged.
Leanne’s ability to identify and frame an important emerging mental health issue and to then bring groups together to address that issue, has seen her contribute to a number of significant changes.
- As Secretary to the HREOC’s Mental Illness inquiry, Leanne contributed to the commissioner’s recommendations for reform.
- Leanne used her knowledge of mental health law to co-draft the National Model Mental Health Laws, a blue print for legislative reform.
- Leanne’s PhD Thesis, the Care and Control of Mentally Ill Offenders in NSW, provided a framework for legislation and service reform for mentally ill offenders, including the removal of executive discretion.
- Leanne’s research led to the establishment of the NSW Mental Health Advocacy Service and the introduction of legal representation at mental health inquiries.
This award acknowledges Leanne’s exceptional contribution, the results of which will flow on to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of all.
PRESENTER: Senator Claire Moore, Senator for Queensland and Chair of the Senate Community Affairs Committee, representing the Australian Minister for Health, Nicola Roxon
Isabell Collins, Melbourne, VIC
Isabell Collins has made a significant contribution towards mental health reform as an active and effective voice for mental health consumers. She is well known in the mental health system at both national and state levels.
Isabell is an outstanding and determined advocate for the protection of human rights of mental health consumers.it is not unusual for Ms Collins to be seen working with clients and their families long after normal office hours and on weekends. No one in need is turned away. She has been providing support and assistance to countless people living with a mental illness, inspiring people with hope.
Isabell participates in more than 20 mental health committees at all levels. She is a member of the National Mental Health Standing Committee, CHairperson of the National Mental HEalth Consumer and Carer Forum, and Member of the Victorian Mental Health Ministerial Advisory Committee.Isabell has a strong passion for her work and she is still indefatigable.
This award is in recognition of her dedication well beyond the “call of duty”, of passionate advocacy for human rights, of commitment at all levels of service planning, and for simply being there when needed. It represents our deep respect for an exceptional contribution, the results of which will flow on to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of all.
PRESENTER: Senator Claire Moore, Senator for Queensland and Chair of the Senate Community Affairs Committee
Betty Kitchener is the Director of the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training Program. She started this program as an unpaid volunteer in 2000. In 2001, the program received a small grant from ACT Health which paid part of her salary to run MHFA courses in Canberra. From this small beginning the program has employed staff and spread nationally. There are now over 1000 accredited MHFA instructors operating across Australia. Over 85, 000 people have completed a MHFA course. A number of specialised versions of the course have been developed: Youth MHFA, Aboriginal MHFA, Vietnamese-Australian MHFA, and e-learning MHFA. The course has spread to the following other countries: Canada, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, THailand, UK (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), USA. A number of studies, including randomised controlled trials, have found the course to be effective in improving knowledge, attitudes and helping behaviours.
This award honours the outstanding innovation and dedication of Betty Kitchener to mental health services through the creation of the Mental HEalth First Aid Training Program, and through untiring commitment to the development of the program in Australia and globally. This award represents our deep respect for an exceptional contribution, the results of which will flow on to enhance the mental health and well-being of all.
PRESENTER: Dr Janice Wilson, Deputy Director General, Population Health Directorate, New Zealand Ministry of Health
For 14 years Beth has been a passionate advocate for collaboration between consumers, carers and clinicians, to improve the quality of mental health service. She has worked at local, State and National levels to achieve her goals. At St Vincent’s Hospital Mental Health Program she convened a Carer Support Group very effectively for 10 years inviting consumers and clinicians to attend on a regular basis.
At a State level, Beth was Chair of the peak Victorian Network for Carers of people with a mental illness until December 2007. At a National level, she was the first Victorian carer to represent the State on the National Consumer and Carer Forum from 2001 – 2006. She is universally regarded by her peers as a leader and catalyst for improvements in service delivery. Beth is an intelligent woman of absolute integrity, full of wisdom and wise judgement, with a keen sense of the contribution of others.
PRESENTER: Senator the Hon. Brett Mason, Australian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing
Christmas Hills, VIC
Sandy Jeffs grew up and went to school in Ballarat. She graduated La Trobe University in 1975. She had her first psychotic episode when she was twenty three and since then has had a long struggle with schizophrenia requiring many hospitalisations. Over that time she has become an advocate for mental health and was among the first to speak publicly about her struggles with schizophrenia. Sandy has done a lot of media work, including radio and television appearance as well as published essays on mental health. She gives talks to community groups, school and university students about mental illness and teaches nursing students. She has travelled around Australia to speak at conferences to GPs and Psychiatrists. She has been a keynote speaker at conferences in Australia and New Zealand, receiving standing ovations.
Her poetry has been widely published in anthologies, magazines and a book entitled ‘Poems from the Madhouse’. Sandy Jeffs’ poems invite readers into the paradoxical worlds of insanity; the confusion and clarity, the courage and the fear, the bleak despair and the black comedy. Her works remind us of the extraordinary capacity of the human being to retain sanity in disaster. Sandy has received awards for her work in mental health from SANE Australia and the Mental Illness Fellowship. She was also an inductee onto the Inaugural Victorian Honour Roll of WOmen: Women Shaping the Nation 2001. She was on the board of Mental Illness Fellowship between 1996-2000.
Sandy has wholeheartedly displayed qualities of deep compassion and creativity given towards the recovery of others and accompanied by a unique message of hope and health through her poetry and humour. This award acknowledges an exceptional contribution to Mental Health Services.
Southern Adelaide Health Service Bedford Park, SA
Sharon Lawn commenced work in mental health in 1985. She completed her PhD on smoking in mental health and from 1998 to 2005 was chair of the Tobacco in Mental Health Advisory Committee. She also contributed consultation, research, advice and impetus to mental health services throughout Australia, New Zealand and overseas (USA, UK and Europe) in relation to tobacco use in mental health settings. Sharon is currently involved in developing policy to support non-smoking inpatient and outpatient facilities in South Australia by the end of 2008. Sharon was involved with consumers through the Tobacco and Mental Illness project which had a focus of quit smoking and this was identified as a priority area for mental health. Numerous Be Smoke Free programs have now been run for consumers over the last nine years, with a high success rate. Through Sharon Lawn’s involvement with the Chronic Disease Self Management Project funding became available to engage consumers in a Partnerships in Care project. This linked consumers into the Chronic Condition Self Management Model of service delivery, which provided the vision for the Peer Supported Hospital to Home Project. The project’s focus is to support consumers post inpatient discharge to ease the transition home. The project uses the skills and experience of people with a lived experience of mental illness and currently living well with that mental illness to provide support to others with mental illness.
The Peer Supported Hospital to Home Project serves mental health consumers in the south of Adelaide by easing their transition from hospital to home. Under Sharon Lawn’s guidance, peer consumers who are living well assist consumers who are leaving the hospital to reintegrate into the community by providing support for a total of 12 hours over two weeks. The funding is provided by Metro Home Link. There are several such peer support workers, and the number of clients varies at any time, depending on how many people are discharged from the hospital and which of those people decide to receive the service. The project has been peer based and addresses issues such as funding for peer consultants and peer workers, quality assurance and support
This award recognises over twenty years of inventive and noteworthy work in mental health enriched by a holistic vision of health, optimism and collaboration with consumers to deliver quality recovery programs. It also acknowledges the exceptional contribution to mental health services in South Australia, the results of which flow on to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of all.
PRESENTER: The Hon. Tony Abbott, Minister for Health
Ms Ngoc-Anh Nguyen
Western Region Health Centre (WRHC), Western Region Outreach Service (part of WRHC)
Ms Ngoc-Anh Nguyen has been working for almost 12 years in the Psychiatric Disability Rehabilitation Support Service (PDRSS) sector in Melbourne as a bi-lingual mental health outreach worker. She has made a remarkable contribution in developing a unique Vietnamese model of working with people experiencing a psychiatric disability as a result of mental illness, their carers, family members, and the community. This model is known as Dung Hop, a model that is family and community based that reflects Vietnamese values and culture. As well as providing individual outreach services, Ngoc-Anh has also successfully established and effectively maintains a range of innovative creative programs targeting the Vietnamese community in the western metropolitan region of Melbourne, examples include, the Marriage Enhancement Program, Children’s Homework Group, Women’s Group, Family Outings, Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) Tutoring Program and the Young Volunteers Group. In early 1994, Ngoc-Anh was employed as a part time project worker with Western Region Outreach Service based in Footscray which has a large concentration of Vietnamese background population. In many ways, Ngoc-Anh has been a pioneer and has paved a path for mental health services to address the needs of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) consumers within their communities, in particular her own ethnic community. Ngoc-Anh’s position became full time in 1998. Through strong collaborative work with different mental health agencies (both clinical and PDRSS) and the Vietnamese community agencies, Ngoc-Anh has successfully developed the model of the Vietnamese Program, Dung Hop. Dung Hop is an eclectic merging of PDRSS Principles and the Vietnamese Collectivist Philosophical Principles suggesting a harmonious and balanced way to provide support for her clients and their support systems. The written text of this model and some of its applications to the success of the Vietnamese Program can be found at www.wrhc.com.au
Ngoc-Anh has also shown us ways to think outside the square and to creatively make the system work for those in need. Ngoc Anh continues to challenge the ‘western’ style frameworks of Department Human Service (DHS) funded programs that often focus on the individual, particularly when it comes to data collection and geographical boundaries, by emphasizing the importance of working across boundaries with both family and community. She continues to seek recognition from funding bodies that key indicators and outcomes are often different for individuals from CALD communities.
Professor Ian Falloon
University of New Zealand
Professor Ian Falloon is a New Zealander, a longstanding Professor of Psychiatry at University of Auckland, a regular contributor to TheMHS Conference in our early years, and for some years now has been the Director of the innovative Optimal Treatment Project (OTP), centered in Europe. He was the principal investigator of a landmark randomized study of family intervention in schizophrenia in California, followed by a multi-centred collaborative study across the USA. He then instigated a comprehensive package of integrated biological and psychosocial interventions across the entire county of Buckinghamshire, UK, working closely with GP’s, while systematically transferring information and practical cognitive behavioural skills directly to all their clientele with any psychiatric symptoms and their families. Such integrated care reduced the incidence of severe mental illnesses throughout the county, & Professor Falloon became one of the pioneers of early prevention & intervention in psychosis. Many have built on his visionary work, while OTP projects in different parts of the world have now replicated his earlier positive results.
PRESENTER: Dr Sev Ozdowski OAM, Australian Human Rights Commissioner and Acting Disability Commissioner
Central Northern Adelaide Health Service Mental Health Division, Northern
Barbara Wieland (Barb as she is known throughout the service) has been instrumental in the implementation of mental health reform agendas in northern metropolitan Adelaide over the past decade, developing service delivery models in Adult and Aged Care Mental Health Services. She has enthused and led a dedicated team of mental health workers in the development, implementation and evaluation of innovative programs that have become exemplars for other mental health services across South Australia and interstate: The Borderline Personality Disorder Programme that provides a treatment model for consumers, and a training module for workers; The Exceptional Needs Programme for consumers who have multi facetted problems which require the involvement and collaboration of numerous services. A major achievement has been Barb’s advocacy for consumers and carers, empowering them to take control of their illness and to own their own destiny, and has worked with them to incorporate their views and concerns when planning services. She works in one of the 8 most disadvantaged areas in Australia and continually works collaboratively with many government and non government agencies to meet the needs of mental health consumers.
This year, under Barb’s leadership, the Northern Mental Health Service received a recommendation for 4 year’s accreditation from the Australia Council for Healthcare Standards (ACHS). The surveyors commended the Northern Mental Health Services for its achievements in consumer and carer involvement in planning services and their delivery and its ability to engage stakeholders in service delivery. Barb has seen massive changes in the treatment of people with a mental illness and feels it is a privilege to participate in the ongoing quest to keep improving mental health services
Barb has been an integral part of the development of mental health services within South Australia, holding a number of senior roles in mental health over the years, including Director of Nursing, Glenside Hospital and Executive Director Mental Health Services, Lyell McEwin Health Service. Currently Barb is Service Director of the Northern Mental Health Services, Central Northern Adelaide Health Service.
CEO- Group Special Education Ministry of Education in New Zealand
Dr Barbara Disley worked extensively in the fields of mental health and in special needs. In her extremely active career in human services, she has demonstrated a rare combination of humanity, intellect, organisational ability and strategic understanding that enables her to see hope where others might despair and achieve results where others might flounder. She is an Educational Psychologist and gained a PhD with a thesis on teaching vocational skills to people with intellectual disabilities. Before coming to New Zealand Barbara worked in a variety of settings including being a Social Educator at Marsden Hospital in Sydney, a Manager of Staff Training and a Regional Advisor for a Community Health programme in NSW.
In the early 1990’s Barbara entered the field of Mental Health taking up a position as Deputy Director in the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand which at the time was the umbrella organisation for the nascent NGO sector. With her special efforts and abilities Barbara became involved in the Foundation as it lead the growing charge to alter and improve mental health services in the country. It played a significant part in focussing the attention of politicians on the needs of mental health consumers, through advocacy and mental health promotion and prevention and maintained its viability duuring the process shifting to a purchaser/provider split in Health. It was during latter period of the 1990’s however when Barbara became the first Chair of the newly founded Mental Health Commission of New Zealand that her most significant work in the Mental Health field was achieved and the combination of her unique abilities found expression in creating the basis for changing the landscape of Mental Health throughout the country.
Barbara was able to wend her way through the complexities of the political mine field and those inherent in our sector. Based on the Ministry of Health’s National Strategy for Mental Health she and her team produced a number of core documents that literally provided that lattice work for a “Way Forward” in Mental Health. The most important document was the national “Blueprint” for the development of Mental Health which not only specified the range of services both public and NGO that needed to be provided to the general population but the staff profiles and recovery based philosophy to sustain them. Working in partnership with Janice Wilson, the Deputy Director General of Mental Health in the Ministry of Health, successive Health Ministers, consumers, families, clinicians and providers Barbara exerted both a strategic and practical influence the result of which are still being reaped by the Mental Health sector in New Zealand and further afield. While turning again in 2002 to her original field of Special Education as the CEO of Group Special Education for the Ministry of Education in New Zealand, Barbara continues to have an active interest in and advocacy for Mental Health.
PRESENTER: Professor Allan Fels AO, Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Lifeline 24 Hour Crisis Telephone Line
Lifeline’s 24 hour crisis counselling service is staffed by trained volunteers and has provided Australians with a listening ear for the last 40 years. Located in 60 locations throughout rural and regional Australia, Lifeline’s 4,500 counsellors provide the equivalent of 52 years of non stop compassion every year. Lifeline is the only generalist counselling service available for 24 hours a day every day of the year and is the backstop for helping professions and mental health services who are not available after hours. Help is available at any time, anywhere, for the cost of a local call. Lifeline is now operative in 15 countries and 250 communities across the world and represents a unique Australian primary mental health care promotion, prevention and intervention tool.
Lifeline was establishment in 1963 by the late Reverend Dr Sir Alan Walker. In keeping with Sir Alan’s original vision, Lifeline centres overcome time and distance by providing compassion and care to all Australians. The purpose of Lifeline is to strengthen the capacity of communities and individuals to make life-affirming choices which alleviate distress and promote well-being. In 2002, over 80,000 calls to Lifeline were known to be about mental health. This was about 27% of counselling calls received. Lifeline’s commitment to mental health focuses on the 24-hour counselling service 13 11 14 continuing to play a pivotal role responding to the needs of our callers. Lifeline operates in 42 communities throughout Australia as self governing member centres. These Centres recruit and train volunteers from the local community to provide a 24 hour telephone counselling service in addition to providing information, referral and associated services in their area. Lifeline relies on financial support from the community. Lifeline shops around the country raise 80% of operational costs each year by selling donated clothing, furniture and books. Telstra has been Lifeline’s major sponsor since 1993 and provides Lifeline’s telephone infrastructure. There are 10,000 Lifeline volunteers Australia wide. In addition, 2,500 volunteers are trained annually to staff the 24 hour telephone counselling line.
PRESENTER: Presented jointly by The Hon. Trish Worth, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, and Mr Simon Champ, Director of SANE Australia
SANE Australia is committed to helping people affected by mental illness through campaigning for improved services and attitudes, educating to promote understanding, and conducting research which can make a difference.
SANE has significantly contributed to improving the lives of people living with a mental illness and continues to work for an end to stigma, access to effective clinical treatments, a range of community support, and help for families and other carers.
Over the years SANE has built a reputation for developing innovative programs to address to problems faced by consumers and carers, based on ongoing and meaningful consultation.
SANE Australia is a national charity helping people affected by mental illness through education, research and campaigning for greater awareness of mental illness and better services. It is overseen by a Board of Directors, chaired by Professor John Funder. The day to day running of SANE Australia is overseen by Barbara Hocking, SANE Australia’s Executive Director, who manages 12 staff members.
The organisation works in partnership with a range of consumer and carer groups, national peak bodies, universities, government departments and international alliances and is funded by donations, philanthropic trusts and government and health promotion agencies.
PRESENTER: Dr Norman Swan, renowned Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalist.
Dr Joan Clarke
Dr Joan Clarke’s outstanding contribution to the field of Mental Health can be noted in many areas. Her contribution to research, conferences, committees and the running of the largest provider of day psychiatric services in Victoria can be evidenced in the following document.
Dr Clarke has been the Executive Director of Prahran Mission since 1989 and has assisted the organisation to grow into a large multi-service agency recognised nationally and internationally for best practice, social justice and program innovation. She has supported the organisation’s development by reference to continuing research and program development which has also added significantly to the body of knowledge in the wider mental health field.
Dr Clarke has contributed to many committees including the Chairperson of the Australian Psychiatric Disability Coalition, member of the Mental Health Task Group to set up the Mental Health Council of Australia, Deputy Chair of the Mental Health Council, and coordinated World Mental Health Day for 3 years (1999, 2000, 2001).
Dr Clarke has presented at many noteworthy conferences as keynote speaker including: World Social Work Conference on Health and Mental Health in 1989; Power Politics & Performance 1993; Vicserv 2000 Conference; 7th Lilly Mental Health Forum on Developing Better Relationships with the Community in Tokyo where she presented the paper “History & Evolution of Mental Health Care in Australia”.
Dr Joan Clarke has made an exceptional contribution to Mental Health Services and deserves to be remembered for her achievements.
Ms Anne Deveson, AO
Anne Deveson has made an enormous contribution to raising community awareness of mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, over the past 16 years.
Through her video documentary Spinning Out, screened twice on ABC television, radio programs, and book Tell Me I’m Here, Anne has used her personal experiences and media skills to put schizophrenia and mental illness on the public agenda. She spoke out about her family’s experiences at a time when others were reluctant or unable to ‘go public’ and she has provided consumers and carers with both leadership and support.
A founding member of SANE Australia, Anne served on the Board for 15 years and is currently a Patron. She has worked tirelessly, helping consumers and carers with media training, speaking at meetings, giving media interviews and influencing government policy through her media work and representation on government working parties and inquiries.
Anne has a rare ability to ‘get on with’ everyone. Her natural warmth, compassion and intelligence is admired and respected equally by consumers, carers, mental health workers, politicians and policy makers.
Professor John Werry
Mental Health Commission, New Zealand
Professor John Werry is a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist who trained in New Zealand and Canada. He is currently working in several services across New Zealand, and is a founding trustee of the Youth Horizons Trust for severely behaviourally disturbed young persons. Professor Werry’s distinguished academic and professional career includes appointments in Europe, Canada, the United States of America and New Zealand. In 1979 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Australian and NZ College of Psychiatrists. He is a prolific writer of scientific papers in child psychiatry, and editor of numerous books. For several years he was a Member of Council of the Medical Research Council, and for six years he sat on a committee of the DSM IV Task Force of the American Psychiatric Association. However, John is perhaps best known in New Zealand for his instrumental role in the establishment of the academic Department of Psychiatry at Auckland University, and for his advocacy for services for children. He has worked tirelessly to ensure young people’s needs are acknowledged and addressed.
PRESENTER: Mr Dermot Casey, Director of Quality and Effectiveness Section, Mental Health Branch, Department of Health and Family Services
Simon Champ has made an outstanding contribution to mental health for many years now. He works tirelessly to help overcome stigma; to work with other consumers in gaining recognition for consumer rights; to lobby governments; to raise community awareness.
He works within the system and without and, by example and initiative, he has been an exceptional advocate for people with a mental illness. He consistently shows great courage in knowingly facing the pressures that follow from his activities and I know when he does have relapses, his humour and resilience in coping with these are quite inspirational.
Janet Meagher, AM
Janet Meagher, AM, is an exceptional person and has to her credit amazing achievements despite living with a mental illness since her early twenties. At the beginning of a potentially successful teaching career, Janet suffered a severe psychotic breakdown resulting in several admissions to psychiatric hospitals in Sydney over a period of six years.
In the last year of her hospitalisation at Gladesville Hospital, Janet was included in a comprehensive and concentrated rehabilitation programme, which eventually culminated in her commencing a TAFE course in library assistance. She was eventually able to move into the community to one of the hospital supported home units where staff support was gradually withdrawn over time.
Rehabilitation was slow and difficult. Maximum staff support was needed to help her through each painful step. For instance, at first she had to be accompanied on the bus trip from the hospital to the city TAFE but on her first lone journey, her courage deserted her and she got off the bus and returned to the hospital.
Janet eventually completed her TAFE course and was able to take advantage of a sheltered employment scheme in a government department. From there she graduated into community employment, eventually working for some years as a specialist library assistant in a large municipal library.
PRESENTER: Sir Ronald Wilson, 28th Justice of the High Court of Australia, President of Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, co-author of Stolen Generations Rep
Department of Public Health – Community Mental Health
Kathleen Stacey is currently the co-ordinator of the Community Mental Health Post Graduate Course at Flinders University, a private therapist, and she is involved in many working groups, advisory committees and peer support, mental health promotion activities. Kathleen has made an enormous contribution to education, theory and practice and is well respected in the field of community mental health. She is a strong political advocate for your people’s mental health and works extremely hard at grass roots level. She is a model example of effective and successful community development work and has contributed enormously to the education of health professionals at both a community sector and university level and she has an excellent reputation as a therapist. Kathleen is an inspiration.
SPHERE: A National Depression Project
SPHERE National Secretariat
SPHERE: A National Depression Project is managed by a National Secretariat which comprises of representatives from each medical school across Australia, academic psychiatrists, general practitioners, clinicians from both the specialist and primary care sectors and a consumer representative. Funding for the implementation of the SPHERE Project is currently provided through a variety of NHMRC research (Grant No. 953208), state (NSW Infrastructure – Stream 2), local health service and non-government (including Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals) mechanisms.
Commencing in early 1997, SPHERE: A National Depression Project is a support and education system designed to assist general practitioners (GPs) to identify and treat the common forms of depression and anxiety. Specifically, the SPHERE Project stresses the critical role GPs can play in providing a comprehensive disease management program for patients suffering from common psychological disorders. The SPHERE Project is a national collaboration between representatives from each medical school across Australia, academic psychiatrists, GPs and clinicians from both the specialist and primary care sectors. It contains four essential components which include a novel ‘Case-Identification System’, an initial ‘Four-Seminar Training Program’, a ‘12-month Disease Management Program’ and provision of ongoing education and practice support. Since its national launch in late February 1998, the SPHERE Project has rapidly expanded to reach approximately 2,500 GPs. Over 1,100 GPs have now enrolled in the ‘Case-Identification System’ and over 750 GPs have attended the ‘Four-Seminar Training Program’.
PRESENTER: Dr Harvey Whiteford, Director of Mental Health for the Commonwealth of Australia
Create – Community Recreation, Education Access, Training & Employment Team ‘Cornucopia’
Ryde Community Mental Health Service
The CREATE team (Community Recreation, Education Access, Training and Employment) is a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation service that has redefined itself during the development of the Vocational Training Support program, “Cornucopia,” to ensure that all consumer needs are addressed. The team works to develop partnerships with other organisations to provide opportunities in the areas of work, recreation, leisure, education and training. The CREATE team has evolved from a small rehabilitation tea, of mental health professionals to a much more broadly skilled group from a range of backgrounds, including education, health promotion and vocational training. “Cornucopia” is an initiative of CREATE/Ryde Community Mental Health Services that provides vocational training and employment for people who have experiences a mental illness. Cornucopia means ‘Horn of Plenty – Bountiful Harvest.’ Auspiced by the Macquarie Area Rehabilitation Service Inc. (MARS Inc. Not for Profit Organisation) it is the pivotal point for a range of business activities and employment in Property & Garden Maintenance and in Cafe & Functions catering. A tripartite research project looking at social, psychological and vocational outcomes in in progress, but it is already identifying the financial and self-esteem rewards for consumers.
Rehabilitation and Therapy Programs for Mental Health Clients
Belvedere Mental Health Resource and Therapy Centre
The Belvedere Mental Health Resource and Therapy Centre provides an integrative, client-oriented service to Mental Health client in the Armidale and surrounding district. Planning and implementation of programs at Belvedere are made largely with the cooperation of clients through the Consumer Education and Access Committee. The service also welcomes the support of students on placement, carers and friends, volunteers and the local university. In recent years, Lee Coit-Riley with the support of consumers has made an enormous contribution to the development of the service.
PRESENTER: The Hon. Dr Michael Wooldridge MP, Minister for Health and Family Services
The Centre for Indigenous Mental Health Research and education
University of Melbourne Dept. of Psychiatry St Vincent’s’ Hospital
The Centre for Indigenous Mental Health Education and Research is a unique initiative which ahs been at the leading edge of Mental Health programs for Aboriginal people for over a decade. Aboriginal communities must determine their needs and how to meet them. Strong links with Aboriginal communities including consumers and carers (through community-controlled health services) and the belief that working together in the best way of addressing the mental health of aboriginal communities are central to our programs. The Centre enables the development of integrated mental health programs for Aboriginal people through strategic education/evaluation programs.
Diploma of Health Science (Mental Health)
Joint Initiative with Charles Sturt University, Southern Health Service, and Aboriginal Steering Committee
The Diploma of Health Science (Mental Health) is a course specifically designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health professionals to meet the needs of the Mental Health Education Steering Committee, Charles Sturt University, Faculty of Health Studies and the Southern Health Service. The purpose and main aim of the unique initiative is to train aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health community so that they can be equipped with a portable professional qualification to work in any mental health setting including Aboriginal settings. The first three students have graduated from the original pilot course and the course is being supported by various Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities coupled with positive feedback from external assessors. There is widespread support from Charles Sturt University and the Southern Health Services, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, to continue this unique and worthwhile course. It has helped the communities deal with mental health problems.
Darwin Rural Aboriginal Mental Health Team
Territory Health Services
The Aboriginal Mental Health Team in Darwin Rural District has a total of seven staff. Two registered mental health nurses, one who is on temporary secondment to Darwin Urban District. One permanent Aboriginal mental health worker, based in Darwin. Two temporary Aboriginal mental health workers, one based in Darwin and one based in Belyeun )The funding for these two position is through the Territory Health Service and us being evaluated for permanency. Two Aboriginal mental health workers, one based in Milikapiti and one based in Nganmarriyanga (the funding for these positions is through the Commonwealth Government and funding finished after two years, mid-1997.) Associated closely with the team is another community-based worked in Milikapiti working on a two-year project for the prevention of Youth Suicide (to finish in Dec. 1998.) The team also provides a fairly comprehensive service to the Darwin-based Psychiatric Inpatient Facility.
PRESENTER: His Excellency the Honourable Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia
Mental Health Program
Department of Public Health & Nutrition, University of Wollongong
An innovative, industry specific program for the presentation of post-graduate public mental health education, training and research for both urban and remote/rural primary care workers throughout Australia. It places emphasis on the development of clinically effective and culturally sensitive strategies for health care workers in comprehensive systems of care for persons with mental illness.
PRESENTER: Dame Catherine Tizard GCMG DBE, the Governor General of New Zealand
Associate Professor Patrick McGorry
Early Psychosis & Intervention Centre
For the work, drive, vision and commitment he has demostrated in the are of early psychosis. Associate pRofessor Patrick McGorry is currently director of the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre (EPICC) as well as Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Melbourne University. The staff of the EPPIC program nominated Professor McGorry for the above award, for the work, drive, vision and commitment he has demonstrated in the area of early psychosis. Professor McGorry epitomizes the scientist-practitioner model and has made significant contributions both academically and clinically. He works tirelessly in ensuring that the quality of service offered at EPICC is of the highest standards and sensitive to the requirements of the participants. He has time for all staff, peers and consumers alike and as such has gained a deep respect and admiration by all associated with him.
PRESENTER: Dame Margaret Guilfoyle, President of the Board of Royal Melbourne Hospital, Former Minister for Education, Social Security & Finance
Ms Robyn Byers, B.A.,M.A.(Hons) Psychology, Dip. Clin. Psychology, Diploma of Education
Nelson Marlborough Health Service Ltd
Robyn is the Executive Officer for the mental health service covering the Nelson Marlborough region of 114,000 people on the South Island fo New Nealzland. She is also the Total Quality Management Consultant and has certificates of Health Management and Total Quality Manafement. In the years since she began working in mental health in 1977, she has made a major contribution to the development of better mental health services. She contributed beyond role expectations and demonstrates a great commitment to quality, always achieving objectives and tackling challenges energetically and resourcefully. An abundance of evidence from her clients, from ward, from community and staff education programs, from service plans and implementations etc. amply demonstrate her contributions in theory, education and in practice.
PRESENTER: The Honourable Greg Hunt, MP, Federal Minister for Health and Minister for Sport, who presented the awards.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia is a national, not-for-profit, health promotion charity focused on mental health first aid training and research.
Its mission is to provide high quality, evidence-based mental health first aid education to everyone. Its vision is a community where everyone has the first aid skills to support people with mental health problems.
MHFA Australia has 16 FTE staff members and a budgeted expenditure for this year of $2 Million. Funding is derived from fee-for-service training activities, government grants and philanthropy. MHFA Australia trains, then supports a national network of 1,386 MHFA instructors, who have trained over 500,000 members of the public.
The organisation has spread MHFA training to over 20 countries and has in 2017 reached the extraordinary milestone of over 2 million people trained globally.
Extensive research to inform the curriculum and to evaluate MHFA training has shown that it improves mental health knowledge, reduces stigmatising attitudes and increases helping behaviour.
Photo: TheMHS Medal 2017 – presented to Mental Health First Aid Australia (Hon Greg Hunt, Betty Kitchener OAM and Nataly Bovopoulos