Opinion: Nominate one of your mental health heroes

Australian Mental Health Prize Advisory Group chair Ita Buttrose has encouraged Aussies to nominate people around them making outstanding contributions to the promotion of mental health, or the prevention of mental illness. Photo: Shutterstock.
Australian Mental Health Prize Advisory Group chair Ita Buttrose has encouraged Aussies to nominate people around them making outstanding contributions to the promotion of mental health, or the prevention of mental illness. Photo: Shutterstock.

Much needs to be done to address the crisis of mental health in this country.

With almost half of all Australians affected by mental illness during their lives, the ripple effect is felt by loved ones, families and the broader community.

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.

The symptoms of mental illness are not always visible and many people suffer in isolation.

Thankfully, there are thousands of worthy Australians striving to make a difference in this field, from advocacy, education and awareness through to prevention, treatment and searching for much-needed cures.

The Australian Mental Health Prize acknowledges those who are doing innovative work in this area.

Acknowledging those who work or volunteer in the industry is an important part of the process to destigmatise mental illness.

The Prize was established in 2016 by UNSW Sydney through its School of Psychiatry, Australia's pre-eminent psychiatric research department.

It recognises Australians who have made outstanding contributions to either the promotion of mental health, or the prevention or treatment of mental illness.

Nominations are now open and we are eager for nominees from across the country.

Please consider those in your local community who deserve to be recognised.

For more information and to access nomination forms, visit the website at australianmentalhealthprize.org.au

Entries close on August 30, 2019.

For those who are living with the burden of mental illness every day, thank you for your support.

Ita Buttrose AO OBE is the chair of the Australian Mental Health Prize Advisory Group.