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Celebrations at the 2023 Mental Health Awards

It was a night of celebrations at the 2023 WA Mental Health Awards, with Youth Focus Board Member Professor Ashleigh Lin, and headspace Midland’s Our Place team, taking out two major awards.

The awards also saw headspace Albany and Youth Focus Great Southern Manager Dr Andrew Wenzel make it to the finals of the Mental Health Employee or Volunteer Excellence Award.

We are beyond proud of our winners and finalists.

Hosted annually by the Western Australian Association for Mental Health, with support from the Mental Health Commission, 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 individuals, schools, employers, and community groups named as finalists.

The awards were judged by a panel of members from diverse parts of the mental health sector, including individuals with lived experience.

Prof Ashleigh Lin won the Minister’s Award 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.

Our Place won the Diversity Award, 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.

It was also wonderful to see our longtime supporters Mineral Resources take out the Mentally Healthy Workplace Award, for actively supporting 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.

As Mental Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said: “These awards recognise and showcase the tireless dedication and contribution of individuals and teams in the mental health sector, schools, workplaces and the community to keep people mentally well.”