Service and Program Awards

About the Service and Program Awards

The Service and Program Awards commenced in 1992. The categories are reviewed each year and adjusted to reflect the changing emphasis of the Mental Health Strategies of Australia and New Zealand.

There are currently six categories for Programs and Services.

How to choose a category

  • Choose the category which best reflects the primary focus of your entry.
    As health care is a continuum, our categories may overlap. The categories help to limit the variability amongst entries within any one category.
  • Some categories highlight areas of service development which have been selected to raise the profile in these areas. An entry should be placed within one of these categories if appropriate rather than the broader categories.
  • Contact the TheMHS office if unsure of the correct category –

Click on the relevant category below for category definition.

Therapeutic and Clinical Services

This category should include those interventions designed to have a treatment/healing effect related to the symptoms of mental illness.

  • May provide assessment, diagnosis or treatment.
  • May be at any stage of care.
  • May be individual, relationship, group or family therapy.
  • May be a clinical treatment for the management of symptoms, such as cognitive behavioural therapy.

Other examples include treatments to reduce distress, manage depression or grief, sexual therapy, early intervention or behavioural disturbance in children.

Psychosocial and Support

This category is for those services or programs which support a person to move towards one or more of his/her stated life goals – looking beyond the diagnosis of a mental illness to autonomy on a wider “stage”.

Mental Health Promotion or Mental Illness Prevention

TheMHS defines Health Promotion according to the guidelines set out by WHO:

Health promotion enables people to increase control over their own health. It covers a wide range of social and environmental interventions that are designed to benefit and protect individual people’s health and quality of life by addressing and preventing the root causes of ill health, not just focusing on treatment and cure. Recommended reading here.

This category includes workplace wellbeing strategy, intervention and systems that support the importance of organisational and workplace wellbeing through supporting the mental health of all. It is recognised that mental wellbeing impacts on the effectiveness of any organisation and the broader wellbeing of the community.

This Category is exempt from the minimum time of operation rule and entries are welcomed from all sectors.


Judges will be looking for effective transfer of knowledge into practice e.g. use of mentoring.


(Includes physical health/primary care, profit and NFP, workplace mental health and wellbeing).

It is not possible to anticipate the wealth and variation of entries received and there are always entries which do not fit the defined categories each year. If your program or service does not fit the other categories you should enter in this category.

Physical health and primary care entries will show how aspects of physical health relate to a person’s recovery and wellbeing.


This award category recognises the growing prevalence of temporary projects, initiatives and events that are funded to be responsive to specific needs. This includes mental health support that responds to the impacts of challenging events and times such as COVID-19, droughts, bushfires and floods.

Eligibility and Criteria

Please download the Award Information PDF for further information about applying for this category of Award, including, rules, eligibility and entry guidelines.

Key Dates

  • 2024 Award submissions have closed.
  • The Mental Health Services Awards Ceremony will be held on August 28 at TheMHS Conference in Canberra.