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TheMHS Awards

The Mental Health Service Awards of Australia and New Zealand.

Applications for the 2018 TheMHS Awards will be launched on 10 October during National Mental Health Week.

Awarding and recognising best practice, excellence and innovation in mental health service delivery and honouring individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to mental health across Australia and New Zealand since 1992.

Prizes are awarded in each category. Winners will receive Financial support to attend the 2017 TheMHS Conference in Sydney including travel, accommodation and a complimentary 3-day conference registration. Winner will also receive recognistion on our website, in the Conference eBook of Proceedings, the TheMHS Awards Booklet and the Online Resource Collection.



About TheMHS Awards

Now in their 26th year, TheMHS Awards were first introduced at The Mental Health Services (TheMHS) Conference in 1992.

Join us at TheMHS Conference 2017 as we recognise and celebrate great work in mental health services. 

The Awards were established to provide a focus for “good news” stories about mental health, to increase the morale and quality of mental health services throughout both countries and to reward the dedication and commitment of mental health service staff and management.  These Awards reward services and individuals who are changing the way services are delivered, in accord with the National Mental Health Strategy. 

The award categories have changed over the period of time to reflect the changing emphasis of the Strategy. There are seven categories for Programs and Services. These programs demonstrate best practice models, innovation and genuine consumer participation.

The Outstanding Contribution Awards recogise Australians and New Zealand individuals who have had a outstanding impact on mental health service delivery and acknowledge a remarkable accomplishment and wide sphere of influence. The Oustanding Contribution Awards encompass the long running and prestigious Award for Exceptional Contribution by an Individual;  and the top award, the TheMHS Medal for Mental Health.

2015 Medal Award Winners & Exceptional Contribution Award Winners

Image: TheMHS Medal 2015 winner - ABC Mental As.. Jack Heath, SANE, Richard Finlayson, ABC and Tegan Cotterill,  Mindframe; 2015 Exceptional Contribution Winners: Helen Herrman, Presenter, Kay Patterson, Brendan O’Hanlon and Janet Peters. 

TheMHS Media Awards recognise excellence and accuracy of media coverage about mental health and are awarded in three categories: Text Journalism, Sound/Vision Journalism, and Special Media Journalism.

TheMHS Awards program has further developed recently by introducing the Tom Trauer Evaluation and Research Award, the Early Career Researcher Awards for Innovation, Best Practice and Excellence,

The 2016 TheMHS Awards for Mental Health will be presented at the annual TheMHS Conference in auckland this Ausgut. TheMHS Conference is one of the largest and most diverse mental health conferences in Australasia and therefore is an ideal vehicle for such an Award scheme.


TheMHS Awards Aim To:

  • Promote the delivery of good mental health services
  • Encourage consumer-focused services
  • Recognise good practice
  • Reward dedication and commitment  to service delivery and increase staff morale
  • Create “good news” stories about mental health issues and to decrease stigma


Review Panels, Award Categories

Each year approximately 50 - 60 applications are received for the Service Awards, Research Awards and Outstanding Contribution Awards and approximately 40 applications are received for the Media Awards.  Review panels are convened for each of the categories. 

TheMHS Award panels represent the diverse range of mental health stakeholders – consumers, clinicians, managers, carers, etc; states, territories, bi-national

The award categories change a little each year to reflect current mental health issues and National Mental Health Strategies. The rating criteria is designed to reward good practice - evidence-based, consumer-focused, quality and evaluation oriented programs and services.  A visitor to award-winning services will often see the award certificate framed and hung on the wall in a prominent position in the service or organisation.  Award winners will receive a complimentary 3-day conference registration, a complimentary air fare to attend TheMHS Conference and TheMHS Awards presentation ceremony, complimentary accommodation and a display certificate.



From 1993 TheMHS Awards have been funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health, and later the New Zealand Ministry of Health, enabling winners to receive financial support to attend TheMHS Conference and TheMHS Awards Presentation ceremony as well as their awards certificates.