Locals recognised in Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards

AN ORGANISATION, former student and author from the Redlands are among 30 finalists in the Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards.

BIG: Members of Bayside Initiatives Group, which provides mental health services, outside their premises at Capalaba.

BIG: Members of Bayside Initiatives Group, which provides mental health services, outside their premises at Capalaba.

Capalaba-based Bayside Initiatives Group (BIG) has been nominated for the Not-For-Profit Award in the category for organisations that have up to 100 staff members.

BIG is a peer-led organisation that promotes the importance of lived experience and peers in people’s mental health recovery journey.

Former Calvary Christian College student Madison Birtchnell is a finalist for a Youth Award for people 25 years and under.

The 18-year-old university student has been nominated for creating awareness and positive social change, and working to reduce stigma.

Ms Birtchnell is also a finalist in the Individual Award category for event organisation, educational programs and speaking opportunities to highlight the importance of mental health and early intervention.

Author of Challenging the Black Dog Verity Cast is a finalist in the Jude Bujega Peer Experience Award.

The book is described as a creative and lived experience journal written for young adults aged 15 to 25 dealing with depression.

The awards recognise and celebrate individuals, groups and organisations working to reduce stigma, and support and empower people living with mental illness.

The winners of the awards will be announced at a ceremony at Brisbane City Hall on Friday, October 12.

Open Minds chief executive Simon James said the awards provided colleagues in the mental health sector, families, carers and those with lived experiences, with well-deserved accolades and acknowledgement.

”Being shortlisted as a finalist in itself is testament to the hard work and dedication these people and organisations have demonstrated towards people living with mental illness,” Mr James said.

“We are pleased to have received more nominations this year than ever before, and we look forward to this event continuing to grow in reputation and prestige.”