Register your event here, it is the first step in promoting your event to others during Mental Health Month.
It also lets the world know that you and your organisation value mental health and well being.
Community champions, workplace support programs and community groups who have come together to support each other were some of the recipients of this year's Mental Health Matters Awards.
That annual awards are run by WayAhead and presented during the annual Mental Health Month launch event in Sydney.
Red Dust Healing is a specific cultural healing program, written from an Indigenous perspective, targeted at Indigenous men, women and families to address family and community violence, suicide, rejection, addictions, grief and loss, and mental health issues. The program encompasses visual holistic learning modules, linking Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures, to help participants with their individual insights and the journey of personal growth and wellbeing. By individualising and personalising the program through a series of cultural modules targeted at real issues that affect the lives of the participants, it makes it easier for them to engage in the program.
The Red Dust Healing program has been delivered to over 15,000 people in over 300 communities in Australia and overseas.
Tom Powell is the Founder of the Red Dust Healing Program. Tom is a Warramunga Man from the Wiradjuri Nation in NSW. Tom’s working life began at his father’s earthmoving and road construction business. Following his father’s death, in 1985, Tom continued to operate a grader business, studying community welfare through Dubbo TAFE College at night. In 1995, Tom commenced work with the NSW Department of Juvenile Justice as an Aboriginal Programs Officer, based in Taree, NSW. After 13 years with the Department, Tom left his position in order to deliver Red Dust Healing.
Connect for Kids is a multi-disciplinary mental health service delivered by Royal Far West’s globally recognised telecare for kids program. The service is helping to connect children aged 0-15 years outside major cities to mental health facilities for behavioural issues, anxiety, conduct and mood disorders, and giving rural and remote areas access to early intervention, affordable and specialised paediatric health services through video technology. The program’s structured, whole-of-child approach works with family and caregivers to assist them in providing better support to the child. The program is funded under the Commonwealth’s Primary Health Networks program (PHN) by South Eastern NSW PHN and Murrumbidgee PHN and covers assessment, therapy and capacity building across psychology, paediatrics, speech and occupational therapy.
Bright Minds, Connected Communities is an extension of a grassroots project/campaign developed by dedicated young people in Lake Macquarie who identified a need for additional support for young people experiencing poor mental health and/or at risk of suicide. Through their hard work and enthusiasm, the project is now funded by the NSW Ministry of Health and involves a three-tiered approach to suicide prevention and intervention.
A Youth Support Pack to provide advocates and workers supporting young people with appropriate information and services available for referral.
Delivery of ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) and SafeTALK (suicide alertness training) workshops to those living with or working with young people.
Delivery of Wellbeing Workshops and Focus Group Education Sessions to students in year 7 and 9 in secondary schools.
Port Stephens Suicide Prevention Network is a local initiative funded by donations and created to raise awareness about the impact of suicide on loved ones and to bring our community together to inspire love, hope and remember lives lost. Members have restored a rugged neglected headland, built a seat and memorial plinth and developed walking paths. Each year people are invited to ‘Walk With Us’ in a friendly community environment, to start the conversation about our emotions and fears, and support those who have lost loved ones through a suicide. Port Stephens Suicide Prevention Network also supports suicide prevention training programs from Wesley and Lifeline, provides information about mental health services and are building a labyrinth as a “walking meditation” mindfulness space, to aid people in need of stress and anxiety reduction.
The Wagga Wagga Mental Health Recovery Unit provides a free, residential, voluntary program of psycho-education, care and support for people with a mental health issue. Referrals are accepted from any source including GPs, community mental health teams, non-government organisations and the acute mental health service. People can also self-refer. Consumers benefit from a holistic approach that includes interventions on sleep, diet, exercise, communication, relationships and emotional wellbeing. The course includes the core subjects of self-esteem, assertiveness, mental health, healthy eating, distress tolerance, cognitive behavioural therapy, living skills and personal recovery. The multi-disciplinary team includes full time Peer Support Workers who “walk beside” current consumers on their journeys to recovery. Consumers also benefit from graduates of the program who return as volunteers. Consumers are placed at the centre of their own journey through the program; this means they set their own goals, write their own weekly reports and run their own meetings.
The SBS Punjabi program is broadcast every weeknight from 9-10pm, and enjoys a committed audience on-air and online. It has a significant digital footprint, with over 180,000 people following its Facebook page.
Manpreet Kaur Singh, the Executive Producer, has been with SBS for over 25 years. She is a Walkley-nominated journalist-broadcaster who has highlighted the history, achievements and major issues concerning Australia’s Punjabi community, winning several national and international awards for her investigative reporting.
Preetinder Singh Grewal, the Digital and Audio producer, joined SBS Punjabi in 2013. He is a cancer research scientist who completed a PhD in medicine from UNSW. A very popular broadcaster, he has covered a wide variety of stories pertaining to health and lifestyle, visa and migration, human rights, racism and entertainment.
RAW Mind Coach is an online learning program designed to build psychological resilience. This year the evidence-based program was rolled out to more than 5000 workers at NSW Ambulance. Proactive and preventative in nature, RAW Mind Coach performs a vital role in supporting frontline staff, through teaching mindfulness and a range of other essential skills and strategies.
RAW Mind Coach was developed by psychologist Sadhbh Joyce, following research conducted as part of the UNSW Workplace Mental Health Research Team and the Black Dog Institute. RAW Mind Coach includes ten short interactive learning sessions, a selection of guided mindfulness exercises and a large library of resources for ongoing learning. The customisable online program has already been adopted by a number of major employers internationally, helping support workers across a wide range of challenging roles.
Thi Minh Tam Nguyen’s first job in Australia was at the Indo-Chinese Women’s Refuge. This work was controversial as it went against traditional values of the Vietnamese community. After some time, Ms Nguyen qualified as an interpreter and began working with Vietnamese people living with mental health difficulties.
Through her work as a bilingual health educator in a mental health inpatient unit, Ms Nguyen runs various activities and teaches communication skills. She also shares the benefits of meditation with her clients. In 2007, Ms Nguyen was one of five Vietnamese health workers to receive a scholarship from South Western Sydney Health promotion to become a Vietnamese Mental Health Instructor. Since then, Ms Nguyen has delivered more than thirty courses for the Vietnamese community with nearly 700 attendees. She finds that even simply talking about mental health helps to break down stigma and misunderstanding of mental llness.
Ms Nguyen is a member of a Vietnamese interagency workers group that meets regularly to brainstorm solutions and projects to meet the needs of the community. Ms Nguyen is currently working on a directory of Vietnamese mental health professionals.
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Flourish Australia’s annual Brushes with Life art exhibition is back to lead local Mental Health Month celebrations in 2017.
The exhibition will open at 5.30pm on Friday, October 6 on the corner of Victoria and Commerce Street in Taree.
The exhibition will remain on display until International Mental Health Day, on Tuesday, October 10. READ MORE
Community groups and individuals from across New South Wales have been recognised for their efforts promoting mental health and wellness programs in their local communities, for the 2017 Mental Health Matters Awards.
This year’s award winners were announced on Thursday 28th September during a lunch marking the official launch of Mental Health Month, held in New South Wales Parliament House.
Today’s winners are at the forefront of making a difference to the lives of people living with a mental illness, and we must continue to work together to give the best possible care to people who need it most.”
Hon Tanya Davies MP
Clarence Youth Action is an inclusive and diverse group who meet regularly to make decisions that relate to young people, work on community projects, organise events and participate in forums. They provide a platform that encourages greater participation by young people in a range of community initiatives. Membership benefits young people by giving them the opportunity to develop skills they can use throughout their lives, such as leadership and decision making skills, working collaboratively, developing creative ideas and undertaking projects that benefit young people and the broader community.
Act-Belong-Commit (ABC) is a thriving campaign developed by Curtin University and has been successfully adopted by Anson St School – an educational workplace involved in the Mentally Healthy Orange initiative. The purpose of the ABC project is for communities to be proactive and positive about their approach to mental health and wellbeing. In the school setting, it has been about being active, keeping up connections with others and engaging in activities that provide purpose in life, to protect and enhance the mental health of school community members. Implemented as a whole school initiative, ABC has shown exceptional results including a greater sense of community, giving opportunities for parents to engage meaningfully within the school and addressing the increased prevalence of mental health concerns in young people
Produced by the award-winning Princess Pictures, My Year 12 Life is a raw television series which follows the journey of fourteen teenagers in their final year of school. Introducing audiences to a new form of story-telling, these students share their lives, feelings and insights through personally-captured footage. Packed with emotion, hilarity, heartbreak and suspense, the resulting series reminds us of how pivotal Year 12 is and what the future looks like at 18. It highlights parental, cultural and school pressures; body image; stress and anxiety; and school and social life balance. Given its relevance and relatability, the series has aired on a number of Australian channels and remarkably made available to all schools with an episode-by-episode study guide.
The Grow Group Program is a weekly meeting initiative organised by Grow NSW which creates a welcoming space for individuals experiencing mental illness, to support one another through their journeys of recovery and the achievement of personal goals. Complementary to clinical interventions, Grow Groups aim to change thinking and behaviour by offering strategies on how to deal with an emotional crisis, manage feelings, think by reason, take responsibility for one’s actions, but also, realise personal worth and improve relationships. This is delivered through peer support, group discussions, social outings, training interactions and literature readings developed by members. Currently, Grow has achieved astounding results, delivering over 180 Grow Groups and having over 2,500 people attend groups on a regular basis.
For the last ten years, Peter Heggie has lived experience as a carer looking after his wife who lives with mental illness. Currently, Peter is the Carers Australia representative to the National Mental Health Consumer Carer Forum (NMHCCF). Peter has exhibited exceptional skills in networking and identifying connections that can strengthen the work of mental health in the community. Some of his achievements have included creating an NDIS Carer Statement currently endorsed by the NDIA and promoting stronger linkages between the Primary and Local Health Districts and community-based organisations. Peter believes that maintaining a strong recovery orientation in mental health care is vital, as well as the recognition of peers in the co-design and development of programs.
Positive Choices is a national drug prevention portal expanding the scope and reach of evidence-based drug prevention across Australian schools. Developed in close consultation and collaboration with teachers, parents and students, this notable portal provides centralised access to a comprehensive range of drug prevention resources, all of which meet the Positive Choices criteria for relevance, quality and evidence basis. Providing users with a wealth of information, these include fact sheets, games, videos and resources that can be used by teachers to develop lesson plans which align with the Australian Curriculum. Overall, this cost-free portal, which has been accessed nationally and internationally by over 63,000 users, has equipped many parents, school leaders and staff to respond more effectively to the prominent issue of substance use.
Recognised Australia wide for mental health awareness and education, Mind Blank Ltd is a grassroots organisation delivering the highly interactive Sub-Conscious Understanding for Better Awareness (SCUBA) Initiative. Touring to high schools and service providers all over NSW, SCUBA delivers workshop-style performances showcasing “worse-case” mental health scenarios to young people. Ingenious in its approach, the cast replays scenes after inviting the audience to provide suggestions on how certain scenarios can be resolved. This allows viewers to learn about the protagonist’s life and their opportunities for seeking help in the performance. Overall SCUBA aims to increase the number of young people practising self-care and encourage help seeking behaviour, in the efforts to reduce the risk of youth suicide across the nation.
Awarded accreditation as an Evidence Based Program for the Federal Government’s Institute of Family Studies in 2015, KidsXpress is an innovative, transdisciplinary approach to early intervention trauma therapy. Uniquely combining different forms of expressive therapy including music, art, drama, dance and play, this outreach program has been delivered across 21 schools throughout Inner and Western Sydney, reaching over 350 children in need. Led by expert therapists, this approach to trauma-informed care has created safe and nurturing environments where children can use creative expression as tools to explore and better understand themselves, their past experiences and the complex emotions they’re currently experiencing. Fundamentally, KidsXpress has aimed to equip children with life-long resilience and coping strategies, preventing their current challenges from persisting into adulthood.
In collaboration with Mental Health First Aid Australia, THRI have tailored a training course to educate community-based workers on how to provide initial help to individuals from an Iraqi background experiencing PTSD and depression related crises. Using the highly successful Mental Health First Aid training model, this tailored Mental Health Literacy Course was delivered to 86 participants from several NSW based organisations. Given its adapted approach, the intervention has been highly effective, helping trainees improve their recognition of PTSD, reduce their negative attitudes towards PTSD and depression related problems, change beliefs regarding treatment to align with those of mental health professionals, and improving confidence when helping Iraqi refugees. Additional guidelines have also been developed to further assist work with this cultural group.
Weave Youth & Community Services (Weave) is at the forefront in providing casework, counselling, social activities, creative arts and community development projects to socially excluded young individuals in Sydney, including those from the local Aboriginal Community. In 2016, Weave undertook the “Stories of Lived Experience” project which aimed to improve the outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous service users experiencing severe and persistent mental illness and their carers. Taking the form of a thought-provoking documentary film and photography exhibition, the project uniquely captures individuals’ lived experience of therapeutic relationships and service delivery. These insightful stories essentially helped build an understanding of how the mental health sector can better support the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal communities.