Jenna Bradwell

Mental health researchers receive gold achievement award

Researchers from UOW’s Illawarra Institute for Mental Health along with four industry partners have won a Gold Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Service Achievement Award.

The group won their award in the Education, Training and Workforce Development category. It was given in recognition of their innovative approach to facilitating the transfer of Collaborative Recovery Model Training for staff within community-managed organisations.

This work was part of an ARC Linkage grant with industry partners Aftercare, Neami Ltd, Richmond Fellowship Queensland and SNAP Gippsland Inc. The Chief Investigators on the project were Professor Frank Deane, Professor Joseph Ciarrochi, Dr Lindsay Oades and Dr Trevor Crowe.

The project involved a randomised trial of two forms of worksite coaching to improve the transfer of skills into routine work practices. Over 200 mental health workers from the partner organisations received training and coaching.

Random audits revealed that coaching led to improvements in the quality of care plans over a one year period, with staff receiving values-based transformational coaching showing the greatest improvements in their care planning.

The four partner mental health providers have now integrated the Collaborative Recovery Model and coaching protocols developed by the UOW team into their ongoing staff training and development processes.

The award was announced last week at the Annual Mental Health Services Conference of Australia and New Zealand (TheMHS) and it was presented to the recipients by National Mental Health Commission Chair Professor Allan Fels, AO.

The awards recognise and encourage best practice, excellence and innovation in mental health service delivery and have been presented annually since 1992.

This is the eighth time that researchers and partners affiliated with the Illawarra Institute for Mental Health have received an ANZ Mental Health Service Achievement award since 2000.

TheMHS Conference is the largest mental health and addiction services conference in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. TheMHS aims to promote positive attitudes about mental health and mental illness, and to stimulate debate that challenges the boundaries of knowledge and ideas about mental health care.


  • Richmond Fellowship Queensland CEO Kingsley Bedwell, Director, Illawarra Institute for Mental Health Professor Frank Deane, National Mental Health Commission Chair Professor Allan Fels AO, Neami Ltd CEO Arthur Papakotsias and SNAP Gippsland Inc CEO Chris McNamarra.