2023 WA Mental Health Awards winners announced
Last night, nine individuals, schools and organisations were recognised for their outstanding contributions to mental health at the 2023 WA Mental Health Awards.
The Awards recognise and reward the achievements of those who demonstrate excellence, innovation and initiative in supporting consumers of mental health services, their families and carers.
This year, 144 nominations were received across nine award categories, with 34 finalists named.
The awards were judged by a panel of members from diverse parts of the mental health sector, including individuals with lived experience.
WA Mental Health Commissioner Maureen Lewis said the nine winners were very deserving of their awards and congratulated all the finalists and nominees for their contributions to WA’s mental health sector.
“I’d like to thank all 144 nominees for their dedication and commitment to mental health in Western Australia,” she said.
“While it’s very hard to choose only one winner for each category, those who did ultimately win the awards were incredibly worthy.”
The 2023 WA Mental Health Award winners are:
Minister’s Award: Prof. Ashleigh Lin
For her work in the field of youth mental health research in WA, with a primary focus on marginalised groups, including young LGBTQIA+ individuals and Aboriginal youth. Prof Lin is also an advocate for policy development related to suicide prevention and mental health in WA.
Lived Experience Impact and Inspiration Award: Dan Cazangiu
For his work as a mentor and as a peer worker in Start Court, where he advocates for mental health awareness, mentors future peer workers, and has positively impacted more than 100 Start Court participants.
Diversity Award: Our Place
For delivering an inclusive program in WA designed for LGBTQIA+ young people aged 12 to 25 years, in collaboration with the City of Swan, Youth Focus, and headspace Midland. The program addresses the mental health and community inclusion challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ youth, who often experience social exclusion and stigmatisation.
Mental Health Employee or Volunteer Excellence Award: Leanda Verrier
For serving as the state wide coordinator of the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health program at King Edward Memorial Hospital, where she excels in planning, implementing, and evaluating strategies, services, and research in this specialist field.
Innovation for Change Award: Together We Ride
For its early intervention program in Broome, supporting at-risk youth aged 12 to 14 years. The initiative prevents youth from entering the criminal justice system by helping them develop life skills and reconnect with family, culture, and education.
Mentally Healthy Education Award: Kinross Primary School
For taking proactive steps to support its students, staff, and volunteers facing mental health challenges. Kinross Primary School actively addresses mental health, bullying, and discrimination, resulting in a positive and safe school culture, high satisfaction among its stakeholders, and a commitment to continual improvement.
Mentally Healthy Workplace Award: Mineral Resources (MinRes)
MinRes actively supports employees facing mental health challenges by promoting psychological wellbeing and reducing stigma. MinRes has trained mental health champions, partnered with Mental Health First Aid Australia, and initiated the Mind Matters series to educate employees and families.
Mental Health News Media Award: Martin Wilson, Nicole Ferraro, Third Storey Pictures & HelpingMinds
This locally produced film, PIECES, is a pseudo-documentary that explores the lives of individuals living with complex mental illnesses, aimed at breaking down stigma and stereotypes. Their work not only entertains but also fosters important conversations and promotes help-seeking in the mental health space.
Prevention and Promotion Award: ALIVE & Kicking Goals! Youth Suicide Prevention Program (AKG!)
For establishing a program addressing rising suicide rates, primarily in the West Kimberley. Managed by Mens Outreach Service Aboriginal Corporation, AKG focuses on early intervention and youth suicide prevention through peer-led workshops and one-on-one mentoring.