More information about the 2017 Australian Mental Health Prize will be released shortly, please keep an eye on this page.
What is the Australian Mental Health Prize?
The Australian Mental Health Prize has been established by the University of New South Wales through its School of Psychiatry, Australias pre-eminent psychiatric research department, and will recognise major contributions to mental health.
The Importance of Mental Health in Australia
Mental illnesses are common and highly disabling. In any one year, one in five adult Australians, and one in seven children aged 4 to 17 will experience some form of mental illness. One in three of us will have a mental illness in our lifetime.
- Mental illness impacts severely on our capacity to work, to earn a living; and maintain close relationships.
- The average lifespan of people with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder is shortened by 10-15 years.
- Suicide rates are still unacceptably high, with over 2,000 Australians taking their own life each year.
- Suicide is the most common cause of death in males under 45.
Why establish the Australian Mental Health Prize
Australia has led the way internationally in many aspects of mental health, such as community awareness, public advocacy and innovative services. Our open public discourse involving politicians and high profile individuals occurs in few other countries. Programs that include beyondblue, the national depression initiative, and headspace, the national network of youth mental health services.
The Australian Mental Health Prize will:
1. Acknowledge and recognise the important and ground-breaking work that many Australians are doing for mental health;
2. Raise public awareness on the importance of mental health; and
3. Provide an incentive to improve services and outcomes for people with mental illness.
What are the criteria for the Australian Mental Health Prize?
The Prize will be awarded annually to an Australian who has made outstanding contributions to either the promotion of mental health, or the prevention/treatment of mental illness – in areas such as advocacy, research or service provision. The prize will recognise contributions undertaken in Australia which are of national significance.
Who is involved with the Prize?
The prize has been established by a group of eminent Australians in partnership with the University of New South Wales.