Open Minds was pleased to partner with Queensland Alliance for Mental Health for the 2012 Mental Health Week Achievement Awards.
The Mental Health Week Achievement Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate the achievement of individuals, groups, organisations and businesses devoted to improving the understanding and awareness of mental health in the Queensland community.
The Awards acknowledge the high standard and ongoing commitment demonstrated by those involved in innovative and effective initiatives and programs which address key mental health issues at a local, regional or state-wide level in Queensland.
The Awards were presented at a special luncheon on Friday 12 October 2012.
The winners in each of the categories were as follows:
Consumer/Carer Award Winner – for an individual or group who through their direct experience with mental illness demonstrates a significant contribution to improving the lives of people with mental illness and their families and/or carers.
The winner - Mental Health Family & Carer Connections Initiative – This is a partnership between Suncare Community Services and the Metro North Hospital and Health Service to promote good mental health and wellbeing between carers, families and individuals. The initiative provides community awareness and information sessions aimed at reducing stigma, raising awareness and exploring the concepts of wellness for carers, families and individuals with an emphasis on innovation and creating practices that build on meaningful connections within the community.
Organisation Award Winner - for an organisation that through the provision of mental health related services, programs, projects or initiatives demonstrates a commitment to improving the quality of life of Queenslanders living with mental illness by promoting their inclusion in the broader community.
The winner - Benowa State High School Peer Support Leadership Program – a unique partnership between Benowa State High and Uniting Care Community which addresses the increasing number of issues relating to mental illness affecting young people within the school community. The program is based around a peer to peer training program which see’s students themselves become the organisers and facilitators of the program. The program is focused on early intervention with the aim of identifying risk factors which can impact on a young person’s problem solving capacity and also promotes protective behaviours such as interpersonal skills, positive peer relationships, self-worth and efficacy.
Individual Award Winner – for individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to mental health in Queensland through their commitment to improving the quality of life of Queenslanders living with mental illness and by promoting their inclusion in the broader community.
The winner - Mary Woods – the founder of ‘Tie up the Black Dog Committee’ which was formed in 2007 by Mary and two other local Goondiwindi ladies who saw that many of their neighbours and friends on the land were struggling with depression due to difficult and demanding times. Mary and her colleagues acted quickly within their community by organising community events with high profile speakers to share information and break down the stigma of mental illness in rural and remote areas.
Workforce Award Winner – for an employer who through the implementation on innovative workplace practises or initiatives has demonstrated excellence in the promotion of positive mental health to all employees and supports the inclusion of employees living with mental health issues.
The winner - Queensland Rail - in 2011 Queensland Rail developed an extensive program of events to help celebrate Mental Health Week. The key messages communicated to all 7500 employees focussed on raising awareness of the prevalence of mental illness and celebrating the achievement and recovery of people who live with mental illness and their families and carers. Activities included a Mental Health Week Expo; mental health resource kits distributed to 50 regional locations; Chill Out Sessions for staff; and a great debate which highlighted the impact of mental health in the workplace. The week of events was received so well by staff it set the scene for additional mental health and wellbeing activities for this year.
The prestigious Open Minds Earl Duus Award went to Benowa State High School Peer Support Leadership Program.