News • 11 Oct 2019

QLD Mental Health Achievement Award winners!

Congratulations to the 10 Award winners of the 2019 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards – for their incredible work and achievements in mental health.

Open Minds is delighted to congratulate our 10 award winners, announced this morning at the Awards Breakfast and Presentation Ceremony at Brisbane City Hall.

The Awards, Queensland’s only state-wide mental health awards, recognise and celebrate individuals, groups and organisations working tirelessly to reduce stigma and support and empower those living with mental illness.

Open Minds has been hosting the QLD Mental Health Week Achievement Awards since its conception in 1996, to celebrate the often unsung heroes working to raise awareness and reduce stigma of mental illness.

The panel of judges selected the overall winner as ReachOut Australia, a National online mental health organisation, designed with young people, for young people.

The overall winner is awarded the Earle Duus Memorial Award and receives a $4,000 prize to continue their incredible work in mental health.

ReachOut offers self-help, apps, programs and peer support.  In the 2018/19 year, it supported over 500,000 Queenslanders through it’s online support system.

Ivan Frkovic, Queensland Mental Health Commissioner, said: “This is our chance to recognise the achievements of those in the mental health sector. I congratulate all nominees for the QLD Mental Health Week Achievement Awards. Win, lose or draw, your contribution has been recognised by your peers.”

Paula Mayson, CEO of Open Minds said: “This year the entries for the awards were of such high calibre and standing.

“This awards ceremony is a great way to end Queensland Mental Health Week and take time to really stop and focus our attention to some inspirational achievers in the mental health sector.

“It’s a great way to acknowledge those working so hard to really make a difference in the lives of those with mental illness, congratulation to the winners and finalists of 2019.”

The winners of each of the 10 categories are:

Jeff Cheverton Individual Award – sponsored by QLD Alliance for Mental Health

James Hill

James is a speaker for Beyond Blue, mental health first aid instructor, suicide SAFEtalk instructor and mental health advocate for Energy Queensland. James is passionate about awareness and de-stigmatising mental illness. By sharing his own mental illness experience, he creates better awareness in communities. This year James was a guest panellist at the Queensland Mental Health Commission, Shifting Minds forum.

Jude Bugeja – Peer Experience Award – Sponsored by RANZCP

Kerry Geraghty

Kerry draws on her lived experience to support parents and carers within child and Youth Mental Health Services to have a voice in their child’s recovery journey. She does this through individual support, engagement through advisory groups and embedding codesign into services. Kerry also developed a range of consumer and carer friendly resources, websites, and videos to support this.

Early Years Award – sponsored by QLD Health

Curlew Cove Children and Family Place (CFP)

Support for children 0 to 8 years and their families, in the form of free transport, peer-mentoring and parenting support, providing a safe haven for the local community. The Southern Moreton Bay Islands has some of Australia’s most vulnerable children and families. The CFP is based on Macleay Island, and provides support to 5 offshore islands.

Not-For-Profit Organisation Award – SME (1-100 Staff)

ReachOut Australia

Through research, partnerships and collaboration, ReachOut is an online mental health organisation, designed with young people, for young people. ReachOut offers self-help, apps, programs and peer support. ReachOut provides connection and hope, builds confidence to seek professional help, provides support between treatment, develops wellbeing, and supports young people to be well, get well and stay well.

Not-For-Profit Organisation Award – Large (101+ Staff)

yourtown – Kids Helpline

Based in Brisbane, Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for people aged 5-25, who are at risk of or experiencing mental illness. Since 1991, Kids Helpline has responded to over one million contacts from young Queenslanders, giving 24/7 access to professional, evidence-informed, age appropriate interventions and services for young Queenslanders.

Workplace Award – SME (1-200 Staff) – sponsored by Office of Industrial Relations

Open Arms Veteran’s & Families Counselling – Townsville – Peer Support

A two-year pilot program providing current and ex-serving ADF members and their families with supports including counselling, case management, group mental health treatment programs, suicide prevention training and peer support. Open Arms Townsville recruits three ex-ADF members with lived experience, as Peer Advisors. They effectively work alongside clinicians to enhance service delivery outcomes for clients and the community.

Workplace Award – Large (201+ Staff) – Sponsored by WorkCover

Energy Queensland

Energy Queensland have made employee wellbeing a priority by appointing 2 passionate lived experience Mental Health Advocates to provide education, awareness and support for over 7,500 employees. The aim is to break down stigma surrounding speaking out about mental illness. Energy Queensland has also assisted in the development of Mates in Energy, a suicide prevention program backed with evidence based research.

LGBTI+ Award – sponsored by QuAC

PRIDE Art Therapy Program

The PRIDE Art Therapy Program works with LGBTIQ+SB people from age 12-24 within Brisbane and greater SE QLD to improve mental health outcomes by building connections to peers and community. The program has reached over 4,500 LGBTIQ+SB young people since 2017, and encourages self-expression and self-care in healthy, safe ways by decreasing stigma and increasing social inclusion.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award – Sponsored By RFQ

Stepping Black Indigenous Corporation Australia

Stepping Black created the Safe Aboriginal Families in Eidsvold (SAFE) program to strengthen families and the Aboriginal community in North Burnett, by running groups for men, women and young people. The inclusive program collaborates with First Australians to provide opportunities for families to engage in culturally safe, social interaction on a regular, consistent basis.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Award – Sponsored by QMHC

Romero Centre

For two decades, Romero has supported people seeking safety and asylum in South East Queensland. Romero supports women, men and children to access essential services including housing and employment. Romero’s services promote psychological wellbeing for participants. Working alongside participants, families and agencies, Romero aims to reduce isolation, restore hope and create pathways to community integration.

Thanks to this year’s Achievement Awards major sponsor: Queensland Mental Health Commission and category sponsors: Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP); Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, Queensland Health, QuAC, RFQ, WorkCover QLD, and the Office of Industrial Relations.

Achievement Awards host, Open Minds, delivers mental health, disability and specialised supports and is a registered NDIS provider. We work to enhance mental health and wellbeing by delivering a range of tailored options focused on our clients’ individual needs.

For more information on the Achievement Awards or to coordinate an interview with our winners, please contact Natalie Lassen, Senior Communications and Marketing Officer at Open Minds, at [email protected] or call 1300 673 664.

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