Awards submissions now open.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on the relevant category below for category definition.
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.
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”.
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 is exempt from the minimum time of operation rule.
For the purposes of responding to the marking criteria, the consumer of the service is the target group of the health promotion but, where possible and relevant, the entry should demonstrate involvement of mental health consumers in the development and management of the service/program e.g. a reference group or committee membership.
This category is for services or programs where there is significant lived experience leadership.
It is acknowledged that there are different definitions of the term lived experience. Here, lived experience is defined as those with “life-changing experiences of mental or emotional distress, service use, and recovery/healing, and their experiences, or the impact of walking beside and supporting someone through these experiences” (National Lived Experience Workforce Guidelines, NMHC, 2021).
This award category is extended to include consumer and family/carer lived experience leadership. This may include the Lived Experience workforce which is recognised in the National Lived Experience Workforce Guidelines (2021) to include but is not limited to “Consumer Consultants; Carer Consultants; Peer support workers; family/carer peer support workers; specialist peer workers; and various designated Lived Experience roles”.
(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.
- Service & Program, Research and Exceptional Contribution – Awards Entries close 20th of April 2023
- Wellbeing in the Workplace – Awards Entries close 20th of April 2023
- Media Awards Open – Awards Entries close 20th of April 2023
Ready to Apply?
Once you have submitted your application, you will be unable to edit your application at all, so ensure you have uploaded all documentation correctly prior to submitting your application.