A new Australian Mental Health Prize

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A new mental health prize was announced this week, aiming to raise the profile of Australian researchers, advocates and service providers making a significant contribution to the field.

The Australian Mental Health Prize, established by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) School of Psychiatry, will recognise the person who has made the most significant contribution to the mental health of Australians.

Chair of the Australian Mental Health Prize Advisory Group, Ita Buttrose said she hoped “the prestigious Prize will help reduce stigma and raise awareness of mental health and help improve care in Australia.

“There are some incredibly exciting and good things happening in the mental health area in Australia and the Prize, the first of its kind, will highlight the important work Australians are doing. For something that profoundly affects so many Australians and their families, we believe this recognition is incredibly important,” she said.

Professor Philip Mitchell, Head of the UNSW School of Psychiatry said Australia had led the way internationally in many aspects of mental health, such as community awareness, public advocacy and innovative services and it was important to acknowledge that work.

“As all clinicians know, one in five Australians will experience mental health issues in any given year, with sixty-five per cent of people not accessing treatment to support them with this lived experience.

“Mental illnesses are common and highly disabling, one in three of us will have a mental health issue in our lifetime.

“We call upon clinicians and health professionals as well as the public at large to nominate the people they feel should be recognised for their work,” Professor Mitchell said.

Entries close 31 August 2016 with a winner announced November 28 2016.

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