Hon Helen Morton MLC — Good Outcomes Award winners announced

Hon Helen Morton MLC — Good Outcomes Award winners announced

16A program using football to teach young men about mental health and suicide prevention has been recognised among 12 winners of the prestigious 2014 Mental Health Good Outcomes Awards.

Targeted at players aged 15 to 25 years, the program run by the Western Australian Football Commission in partnership with One Life, the Western Australian Suicide Prevention Strategy, trained more than 1,000 football coaches to mentor young players.

The awards, announced by Mental Health Minister Helen Morton this week, celebrated outstanding achievements by individuals and organisations to improve the lives of people with mental illness, their families and carers.

The winners include:
Chris Madson of Noranda
Helena Pollard of Bedfordale
WA Football Commission
Wheatbelt GP Network
Professor Osvaldo Almeida
Youth Affairs Council of WA
The Women’s Health and Family Services
Wes Serrano
Mission Australia
John van der Giezen
Reaching Out for Hope Project
Professor Robyn Martin
“I am pleased to recognise the achievements of such a diverse cross-section of our community with winners representing the public, private and community sectors,” Mrs Morton said.

The major award winner is Curtin University Professor Robyn Martin, whose contribution to mental health spans more than 20 years, who won the Excellence in Mental Health Award.

“Robyn has shown a long-term commitment to mental health recovery, consumer and family participation and I am delighted that her work has been recognised,” the Minister said.

Fact File
The 2014 Mental Health Week runs from October 4 to 10
For information on events, visit http://www.mentalhealth.wa.gov.au
Minister’s office – 6552 6900


WA Newspapers Ltd Award for consumer involvement and engagement

Chris Madson of Noranda is a peer support worker for the Personal Helpers and Mentors, Midland Swan Team and Peer Support Worker for the Hearing Voices Network WA, two programs under the flagship of Richmond Fellowship WA. His mental health journey began at 14, when he first started hearing voices, though he was only formally diagnosed 15 years later. After years of homelessness, arrests and time in hospital, Chris embarked on his road to recovery and has worked tirelessly to overcome barriers.

98FIVE Sonshine FM Award for family and carers involvement and engagement (individual and group)

Helena Pollard of Bedfordale has been involved in the mental health sector for approximately five years. During this time, she has supported two family members. She shares her knowledge and lived family experience to educate practitioners, inform many different mental health groups and particularly those working with families who are dealing with persistent mental distress, co-occurring alcohol and other drug issues, and criminal justice involvement.

Edith Cowan University Award for prevention, promotion and/or early intervention service or program

The Western Australian Football Commission delivered a suicide prevention community action plan through One Life, the WA Suicide Prevention Strategy. The program educated about 1,000 football coaches about suicide prevention. They then took the knowledge and applied it when coaching young footballers, many of whom are Aboriginal. The commission delivered similar training to about 100,000 people including coaches, players, volunteers, families, WAFL board members and key football stakeholders.

John Da Silva Award for improved outcomes in Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing

Through a co-ordinated and targeted approach to providing primary health services the Wheatbelt GP Network has improved health outcomes for a significant proportion of the Wheatbelt population including the communities of Northam, York, Toodyay, Moora, Merredin, Lancelin, Jurien Bay and Southern Cross. The network operates four general practices, providing a multidisciplinary allied health team with mental health and Aboriginal health services.

GESB Award for improved outcomes in seniors mental health

Professor Osvaldo Almeida is a clinical researcher whose main focus has been on the epidemiology of depression and cognitive impairment and the evaluation of interventions to treat and prevent depression and cognitive decline later in life. He was the chief investigator in Australia’s biggest study of depression in older people and set up the Mood Clinic at Royal Perth Hospital to research non-pharmacological treatments that augment drug treatments for mood disorders amongst seniors.

Dr Mark Rooney Award for improved outcomes in child and youth mental health sponsored by the Commissioner for Children and Young People

Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia is the peak non-government youth organisation in WA, regularly advocating on behalf of young people, many of whom have experienced disadvantage. They have partnered with One Life, the Western Australian Suicide Prevention Strategy to train youth workers in suicide prevention and co-ordinated numerous youth-led suicide prevention programs across Perth. They have also conducted Music Feedback, an anti-stigma project encouraging young people to talk about mental health and seek help early.

University of Western Australia, School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences Award for excellence in rural and remote mental health

The Women’s Health and Family Services Rural in Reach Program uses the video-conferencing infrastructure of 48 regional Community Resource Centres and four partnering Regional Women’s Health Centre, to provide tailored health and wellbeing services to rural and remote women, their families and communities. Through this technology communities can access face-to-face individual and family counselling and health and wellbeing support with trained professionals in real time.

St John of God Health Care Mental health employee of the year Award

Wesley Serrano of Nedlands works in the self harm and crisis counselling service at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, providing counselling support to people who present with self-harm or who have suicidal ideation. This includes direct counselling as well as phone support and liaison with other service providers. He has developed resource packages for people he works with and other staff to help them on weekends and after hours, and remodelled a group program to be used electronically.

Neami National Award for recovery-focused service or program

Mission Australia’s individualised community living strategy program supports clients from all backgrounds who live their lives with the everyday experiences of persistent mental illness.
Mission Australia, based in Osborne Park, ensures participants are given choice, ownership, power and a voice throughout their recovery journey. This might include reconnecting with family and friends and finding and maintaining employment.

Curtin University Award for human rights, equity and diversity in mental health

John van der Giezen has more than 25 years of experience in establishing and implementing Aboriginal mental health programs. He has worked with the Ruah Inreach program, Aboriginal Community Support Service and the Derbarl Yerrigan Heath Services, and was a founding member of Access Housing. In 2006 he established the Our Mob, Our Minds and Our Spirit Aboriginal Mental Health Conference. John has a strong social conscience, advocating for the disadvantaged and those who have lived troubled lives.

Mental Health Advisory Council Award for improved mental health outcomes delivered in partnership with drug and alcohol services

The Reaching Out for Hope Project, based in Subiaco, is a collaboration between the Women’s Healthworks Body Esteem Program and the Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Eating Disorders Program to share knowledge and develop training and peer support models of care for adolescents with eating disorders. The project worked with youth consumers with lived experience of both eating disorders and treatment in its design, delivery and evaluation. It aimed to reduce stigma and increase hope and support for program participants who experienced a range of positive changes.

McCusker Charitable Foundation Award for excellence in the mental health sector

Professor Robyn Martin’s contribution to the field of mental health spans over 20 years working in and across mental health; domestic and family violence; homelessness; child protection; substance use and women’s services. Across government, non-government and tertiary organisations, Robyn has been in a variety of roles and positions, ranging from direct service delivery to consumers, organisational management, professional supervision, research and evaluation, to student supervision and development. Professor Martin is a lecturer and researcher in Curtin University’s School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work.

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