Community champions recognised for outstanding contributions in the lead up to 2018 Mental Health Month
Community champions, workplace support programs and community groups who have come together to support each other will today receive accolades for their outstanding contributions at this year’s #MentalHealthMatters Awards.
The annual awards are run by WayAhead – Mental Health Association NSW and each year held in the lead up to NSW’s Mental Health Month.
This October WayAhead will encourage communities of all shapes and sizes to ‘Share the Journey’ and work together to promote mental health and wellness in their local area. Educating people about what they can do for those around them that might be experiencing mental ill health is also the aim of the awareness campaign.
“One of the highlights every Mental Health Month is the Mental Health Matters Awards. It is very hard to be despondent about the state of mental health in NSW when we hear about and come to understand the work happening throughout the state on a grass-roots community level.
“A lot of the winners have done something to improve the mental health of the community because they themselves have personally been affected by mental ill-health or suicide. The work these people do to better their community is truly remarkable,” said WayAhead CEO Elizabeth Priestley.
The NSW Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies will today join up to 200 community members at the awards ceremony being held at the Shangri La Hotel in Sydney.
“Nearly half of all Australians will experience some form of mental illness during their lifetime, and those who don’t will most likely know someone who will,” Mrs Davies said.
“The extraordinary individuals and organisations being recognised today have made a real difference to the lives of countless community members when they needed help, and I’m proud to present these awards and help launch 2018’s Mental Health Month.”
This year there are eight award winners across seven categories:
|Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing award||Tom Powell
Founder, Red Dust Healing
|Excellence in Service or Program Delivery award||Joint winners:
Community Activities Lake MacquarieRoyal Far West
|Lake Macquarie NSW
|Lived Experience participation and Leadership award||Wagga Wagga Mental Health Recovery program||Wagga Wagga NSW|
|Media Award||SBS Punjabi||Artarmon NSW|
|Mental Health Promotion and Wellbeing Award||Port Stephens Suicide Prevention Network||Anna Bay NSW|
|Mental Health Promoting Workplace||RAW Mind Training||Narrabeen NSW|
|NSW Mental Health Commissioner’s Award||Minh Tam Nguyen||Parramatta NSW|
View videos of each of the Award winners HERE
NSW Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey nominated Ms Nguyen for the annual Community Champion Award after meeting her during a visit with members of Sydney’s Vietnamese-speaking community in 2017.
“Ms Nguyen has shown extraordinary commitment and passion to helping members of Sydney’s Vietnamese community learn more about mental health issues,” Ms Lourey said.
“Her work is especially important because, as community members told me, there is no equivalent word in Vietnamese for ‘mental illness’ and families affected traditionally suffer great shame and stigma.
“Ms Nguyen has stood up to stigma and encouraged families to reach out early and get the help they need.”
In NSW, WayAhead leads Mental Health Month celebrations throughout October to highlight the importance of early intervention practices for positive mental health and wellbeing, and to reduce the stigma associated with mental health.
As part of this year’s theme ‘Share the Journey’, a community campaign ‘Share a…’ has been created to explain how every day activities like sharing a cuppa, sharing a yarn, sharing a meal, can help increase social connections leading to overall better mental health and wellness.
For more information about this year’s Mental Health Month and how to get involved, visit the website – www.mentalhealthmonth.wayahead.org.au.
A ‘Share a Cuppa’ morning tea event will be held at Customs House on Wednesday 3 October hosted by, NSW Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey and the Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies. To register for the event visit – https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/share-a-cuppa-mental-health-month-morning-tea-tickets-49925900713.