Authors: Child and Youth Mental Health Service, Royal Children's Hospital and Health Service District
Event: 2008 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: QLD
Award level: Winner
Award category: Mental Health Promotion or Mental Illness Prevention Program or Project
Abstract: The Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS) of the Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane, used Queensland's Mental Health Week 2007 theme of 'Everybody's Life is a Hero's Journey' as inspiration for an innovative mental health promotion project. CYMHS staff worked with eleven clients (13 to 18 years), two peer mentors and a professional photographer to produce a 2008 calendar comprising beautiful photographs and testimony to convey the participant's significant personal strengths. CYMHS coordination and funding from the Mental Health Association of Queensland and the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation enabled the production of 5,000 free calendars. Written and verbal feedback indicate this unique resource successfully achieved its aims of providing mental health information in an accessible way while reducing community stigma and enhancing awareness of support services. Overwhelming demand has necessitated a second print run of 10,000 copies funded by Queensland's Mental Health Branch, with distribution reaching national and international recipients. Description of Facility/Organisation: The Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS) of the Royal Children's Hospital and Health Service District Brisbane, is an integrated public mental health service established in 1994 to support children and young people (0 - 18 years) experiencing - or at risk of - severe and/or complex mental health problems. Its mission is to help children and young people to better mental health and well-being through leadership in service delivery, education and research. The service comprises three community clinics, an inpatient ward and specialised tertiary services and early intervention initiatives. It employs 131 staff and has an annual operating budget of $10.5 million funded by Queensland Health. RCH CYMHS was fully accredited in June 2005, and has previously received three silver TheMHS achievement awards. It has a strong commitment to facilitating the inclusion of consumer/carer perspectives to enhance service delivery, with the 2008 calendar being a prime example of this approach.