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Wagga Wagga Mental Health Unit Wins Top State Award

Monday 1 October 2018

Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) Chief Executive (CE) Jill Ludford has congratulated the Wagga Wagga Base Hospital’s Mental Health Unit which has been recognised for its outstanding contribution in the lead up to 2018 Mental Health Month.

The unit’s mental health recovery program (MHRP) has won a state award in the category for Lived Experience participation and Leadership award at this year’s Mental Health Matters Awards in Sydney.

The annual awards are run by WayAhead – Mental Health Association NSW and each year held in the lead up to NSW’s Mental Health Month.

MLHD CE Jill Ludford said it was a great achievement.

“The work being done by the unit in improving the mental health of rural and regional Australians is innovative and ground breaking and I am so proud the team has been recognised with this accolade,” Ms Ludford said.

The award comes as the Mental Health Unit has also been named as finalist in the NSW Health Awards, Category 1 Patients as Partners with winners to be announced later next month.

MLHD Mental Health Unit, Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) Innes Clarke said the team were humbled to win the prestigious Lived Experience award.

“The award recognises the exciting work being done in the eight-week live-in program for people with a mental health diagnosis,” Mr Clarke said.

“MHRP is a free, residential, voluntary program of psycho-education, care and support for people with a mental health issue,” Mr Clarke said.

“Consumer’s benefit from a holistic approach that includes interventions on sleep, diet, exercise, communication, relationships and emotional wellbeing. “

The course includes the core subjects of self-esteem, assertiveness, mental health, healthy eating, distress tolerance, cognitive behavioural therapy, living skills and personal recovery.

Mr Clarke added that other organisations contribute their expertise on issues such as substance use, gambling, sexual health and financial well-being.

“An average day includes exercise, group work, one to one intervention and relaxation,” he said.

“This award goes to our consumers who are the real champions in this process.”

The MHRP has an extensive multi-disciplinary team that includes social work, peer support, psychiatry, psychology, nursing, dietetics and occupational therapy. The MHRP accepts consumers from the entire Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD).

A full list of the winners can be found here.

For more information about this year’s Mental Health Month and how to get involved, visit the website here. 


Media Note: Media are invited to interview MLHD Mental Health Unit, Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) Innes Clarke. He is available to speak with the media on Tuesday 2 October at 10am at the Mental Health Unit next to the Wagga Wagga Base Hospital, Edward Street, Wagga Wagga.

Last updated: 03 October 2018