The Mental Health Commission’s Community Champion Award went toSandra Morgan, Mental Health Consumer Advocate with the Queanbeyan District Health Health Service.
According to the Mental Health Commission NSW, “Sandra’s award follows her outstanding work leading the relocation of 20 people who were long-stay mental health patients from Kenmore Psychiatric Hospital in Goulburn to community-based accommodation. Sandra played a pivotal role in securing the right type of new accommodation and support arrangements for these individuals as they transitioned back into the community after, for most, many years in hospital. The project took approximately three years to complete and people are still able to come back to the unit if the need arises”.
Sandra’s award was accompanied by a video outlining some of her thoughts on mental health consumers.
These are the 2015 Mental Health Matters Award winners
Consumer Involvement and Engagement Award
Rebecca Reid, Missenden Acute Unit, Professor Marie Bashir Centre – The Collaborative Care Planning Project
The collaborative care planning project was developed to establish a process for nurses and consumers to co-develop recovery focused care plans during acute mental health inpatient admissions. Since its implementation, it has promoted person-centred and goal-focused interactions, and has allowed for the entire planning process to be therapeutic, empowering consumers during their journey of recovery. Before the collaborative planning approach, Missenden Acute Unit saw a low average percentage of care plans (10%) completed and low consumer compliance rate (5%). However, with the co-development of care plans, consumer involvement has increased dramatically (67%), revealing the improved consumer experience.
Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing
Gunida Gunyah Aboriginal Corporation – ASTRAT Program and Support Initiatives
As a small Aboriginal Corporation, Gunida Gunyah is making big changes for the health, safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal Families and communities. One of their many achievements over the years includes the ASTART (Achieving Sustainable Tenancies and Rewarding Tenants) program which has provided over 350 Aboriginal tenants and their family’s access to a wide range of help and support services. This outstanding initiative delivered across remote Aboriginal communities has included case management for clients with mental health issues, health and wellbeing seminars, financial check-ups and budgeting tips, a tenant benefits club designed to reward positive rental behaviour and initiatives for children and families to stay connected to their land, culture and community.
Mentally Healthy Workplace
The Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation (TJMF) – TJMF Psychology Wellbeing: Best Practise Guidelines for the Legal Profession
The Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation (TJMF) is a charitable organisation that has actively raised awareness of mental health issues within all workplaces. Aligned with this objective, TJMF has assisted organisations in addressing work-related psychological ill-health for those in the legal community. This has been achieved through the development of the “Psychological Wellbeing: Best Practice Guidelines for the Legal Profession”, a resource for those within the Australian legal community that uses evidence and research-based approaches to promote psychologically healthy work environments. By providing practical ways of managing psycho-social factors impacting mental health, this world-first initiative has effectively allowed for greater awareness around the issue within the legal profession.
Research and Evaluation
Dr Cath Chapman & A/Prof Tim Slade, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use (CREMS), UNSW National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre – Future proofing: Mapping the changing landscape of anxiety, depression and substance use problems among young Australians.
In collaboration with seven international universities, A/Prof Tim Slade & Dr Cath Chapman have led a world-class research program that is at the forefront of improving evidence regarding the prevention and treatment of comorbid disorders. Integrating a number of scientific disciplines, their rigorous and innovative research aims to map the changing landscape of mental and substance use disorders among young people. Translating their ground-breaking research into practice, they have also developed a national trial of an effective online program for the prevention of drug and alcohol harms, anxiety and depression in adolescents. In the hopes of further practical application, their findings have been extensively communicated to clinicians, policymakers and community members both nationally and internationally.
Excellence in Service Delivery
Co-winner – The MindSpot Clinic
The MindSpot Clinic is a successful NSW initiative that provides best-practice virtual assessment and treatment services to Australian adults dealing with symptoms of anxiety and depression. With the implementation of free and accessible online screening assessments, information about mental health services and evidence-based psychological treatment courses, the MindSpot Clinic has assisted more than 40,000 Australians. Being a high-quality e-mental health service, it has managed to benefit those who have not been able to readily access psychological services and those who would otherwise not receive any traditional care. Ultimately, this world-class initiative is providing Australians living with unmet psychological needs as a result of stigma, severity of symptoms, or lack of available services.
Co-winner – Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury (Lifeline H2H) – Hoarding Treatment Program
In collaboration with both Government and non-Government organisations including the University of New South Wales, Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury (Lifeline H2H) successfully customised and implemented an evidence-based Hoarding Treatment program within the Northern Sydney Local Government Area. This first-ever group-based treatment program within the region initially offered 15 weeks of treatment over a 5 month period, allowing for a significant reduction in hoarding related behaviours and cognitions. Being able to continue due to the success of its initial trial, this cost-effect program has empowered individuals with a Hoarding Disorder to improve their mental health and wellbeing. Furthermore, it has provided the Northern Sydney Local area a non-threatening, effective alternative to forced home clean-ups.
Low Life by Luke Eve – More Sauce Productions
Low life, created & directed by Luke Eve, is a highly visual, heartfelt and humorous web series that takes a look at depression in light of popular culture. Introducing audiences to a relatable character, Low Life seeks to remove the stigma associated with mental health, provide a beacon of hope for those struggling with such issues and emphasise the importance of staying connected with others. Available across multiple platforms, this brilliant black comedy has been viewed by thousands of people and has received critical acclaim in Australia and abroad. Not only featured in numerous media outlets and film festivals, it has also been cited exceptionally across social media networks, voicing the message that there is light even in the most difficult situations.
Karina Holden, Jenni Wilks & Cian O’Clery, Northern Pictures – Changing Minds: The Inside Story (Series 1), A 3 part documentary series for ABC’s ‘Mental As’ program
Broadcasted during Mental Health Month 2014 as part of ABC’s ‘Mental As’ campaign, Northern Pictures have produced an exceptional observational documentary series that looks inside the locked wards of the Mental Health Unit at Liverpool Hospital. Filming in one of Australia’s biggest and busiest Mental Health Units, Northern Pictures have worked effectively with mental health patients, their families and clinicians to challenge taboos and stigma around mental health. From electroconvulsive therapy, to modern psychiatric drug treatments and into the proceedings of the Mental Health Review Tribunal, this documentary communicates the message of hope through the difficult realities of those living with a mental illness.
Mental Health Promotion and Wellbeing Award
Anna-Louise Bouvier – HAPPY BODY AT WORK
Directed and created by Anna-Louise Bouvier in partnership with ABC Commercial, Happy Body at Work (HBAW) is a world-leading, evidence-based wellbeing program that addresses health risks associated with sedentary lifestyles and its impact on employee mental health. As a leading physiotherapist and mind/body expert, Anna-Louise Bouvier provides workplaces with a cost-effective, 8-week schedule targeting four fundamental lifestyle behaviours – sitting, moving, stress and sleep. Incorporating a holistic approach to wellbeing in a unique and engaging way, the program equips employees with simple physical and psychological strategies around these habits, allowing individuals to not only improve their time at work, but ultimately their overall quality of life.
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities
David Keegan – SSI Humanitarian Programs Division, Settlement Services International
Settlement Services International (SSI) is a principal provider of community integration and settlement services for humanitarian entrants and asylum seekers in NSW. With the large number of refugees and asylum seekers supported annually, the SSI team has effectively implemented the Refugee Health Screener tool (Hollifield et al., 2013) to determine the prevalence of significant mental health disorders amongst such individuals. Since its initiation in August 2014, more than 6,000 assessments have been carried out, allowing case managers to better assess the mental health needs of SSI clients. To further ensure appropriate action around refugee mental health, SSI has also invested in extensive mental health staff training, allowing for better support outcomes for such a high-risk community.
Cross Sector Collaboration
Daniella Kanareck, Aged Care Psychiatry Service, Prince of Wales Hospital – The Older Persons Mental Health working Group
As a cross-sector collaboration between a number of organisations, The Older Persons Mental Health Working Group (OPHMWG) has commendably promoted equitable and accessible levels of service and care coordination for older people with a mental illness. Since 2011, OPHMWG has informed government policy, encouraged local service partnerships between aged care and mental health services, developed an easily-accessible directory of local community services and organised a range of educational forums focusing on the mental health needs of older people. Overall, OPHMWG has provided greater attention and awareness around older people’s mental health, better meeting the needs of a uniquely vulnerable sector of the Australian population.