Honouring our mental health heroes

Nominations are now open for the Australian Mental Health Prize, which seeks to recognise the important and ground-breaking work that many Australians are doing for mental health.

This year, the Prize has expanded the nomination categories for the first time.

Lucy Brogden AM, the co-chair of the Australian Mental Health Prize Advisory Committee, said she is looking forward to shining a light on those that have shown outstanding leadership.

“There is no doubt that the past few years have been some of the most challenging in recent history. Yet many inspiring Australians have shown true leadership in supporting good mental health and the prevention and treatment of mental illness, in areas such as advocacy, research or community service. We want people across the country to nominate these heroes so that we can acknowledge their important work.”

Co-chair and past winner of the Prize, Professor Allan Fels AO, is encouraging the public and organisations to nominate those who are making an incredible difference.

“Australia has produced some astoundingly effective mental health initiatives and programs. Recognising this work will help to keep mental health on the national agenda and support good mental health in this country,” he said.

“While a lot has been achieved and is in progress, there is still so much more to be done. I strongly encourage all Australians to nominate someone whom they believe should be recognised for their critical work in mental health.”

This year, the Prize has expanded to accept nominations in four categories:

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander:
    • To recognise and celebrate outstanding Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mental health leadership at a national or community level.
  • Lived experience: 
    • To recognise and celebrate outstanding mental health leadership by someone with lived experience of mental health, either personally or as a supporter, at a national level.
  • Professional:
    • To recognise and celebrate outstanding mental health leadership in the clinical, academic or professional sectors at a national level.
  • Community hero: 
    • To recognise and celebrate outstanding mental health leadership at a State or community level.

The Australian Mental Health Prize was established in 2016 by UNSW Sydney’s Medicine & Health School of Psychiatry.

Scientia Professor Henry Brodaty AO at UNSW Medicine and Health, said, “Leadership comes in many shapes and sizes, which is why we feel it is important to broaden the nominations across four significant categories. They give people more flexibility in how they choose to nominate.”

“While we will continue to recognise people who have dedicated their lives to improving the mental health of Australians at a national level, we specifically wanted to shine a light on the incredible work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health leaders and people with lived experience, who have so much insight and wisdom to share. We also wanted to recognise our community heroes, as a great deal of innovative work begins at a grassroots level in local communities,” Professor Brodaty said.

How to nominate

To enter, nominators will answer three questions about the nominee’s contribution to mental health and how it is making an impact. Nominations are completed using an online form.

Nomination questions can be obtained from: australianmentalhealthprize.org.au

Entries open on 14 June and close on 1 August. The winners will be announced in late September.

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