2011 Margaret Tobin Awards winners
Congratulations to the 2011 winners and finalists of the Dr Margaret Tobin Awards for Excellence in Mental Health.
Category 1: Excellence in leadership and commitment to mental health reform (individual award)
Winner - Dr Elaine Skinner
Elaine has been instrumental in establishing Older Persons Mental Health Services in country South Australia. She lives and practices in the country and recognises the importance of bringing specialist medical services to communities. Her vision is to have a visiting psycho-geriatrician to every major country town in SA.
Category 2: Excellence in the provision of mental health services (organisational award)
Joint winners - Carers SA & The Hall
Carers SA is the statewide organisation representing the interests and needs of carers in SA. In 2008 they began a program specifically for carers of people with mental illness and carers at risk of developing mental illness themselves. As a result, these carers now have greater access to information, support services, mentors, social activities and education to assist them in their caring role.
The Hall refers to The Mental Health Activity & Learning Centre, a Mannum facility run entirely by volunteers. It is open to mental health consumers, carers, people with disabilities and community members, helping to reduce the isolation of living in rural South Australia. As people attend regularly, they grow in confidence, increase their self esteem and social skills and develop social networks and friendships.
Category 3: Media Award – excellence in promoting positive mental illness and mental health in a balanced and respectful way (individual or organisational)
Winner - Jason Om
Jason wrote two ABC Radio Current Affairs stories about the effect of suicides on a small community. Both stories ran nationally and aimed to break the silence surrounding suicide, and encourage people to seek help.
Category 4: Aboriginal Award – excellence in the provision of mental health services for those most in need or at risk (organisational or individual)
Winner - Statewide Gambling Therapy Service – Sue Bertossa
The Statewide Gambling Therapy Service provides cognitive behavioural therapy to assist people to overcome their gambling addictions. An integral part of the program is the Aboriginal project component of the service, which was implemented in 2008.
Sue has been central to the work of the service, conducting community based information sessions, which increased the number of Aboriginal people attending the service. Sue has also been involved in preparing and delivering training for other therapists to enable them to work more effectively with Aboriginal people.
Category 5: Consumer – for the person who has made an outstanding contribution to improvements for people with, or at risk of developing a mental illness (individual award)
Winner - Heather Nowak
For 25 years, Heather has been a crusader to affect change in mental health policy and improvement in service delivery for mental health consumers. She has volunteered on committees at local, national and state levels and assists consumers and carers in navigating the health system. Heather has touched the lives of many consumers and carers, encouraging them to continue in their recovery journey.
Category 6: Carer – for the person who has made an outstanding contribution to improvements for people caring for people with, or at risk of developing a mental illness (individual award)
Winner - Marcia Johnson Timm
Marcia, who has cared for her husband all their married life, started a support group for carers of people with mood disorders in 1993. Her compassionate nature allows her to empathise with other carers. A large amount of her time is devoted to planning and organizing a program of monthly activities to advise, assist and support new and experienced carers.