2015 Mental Health Voluntary Sector Awards

Our team at The Oval


MHPF announced the winners of their 2015 Mental Health Voluntary Sector Awards, at a Conference Lunch held at the Kia Oval on Wednesday 22nd April.

The role of the voluntary and community sector in mental health provision was recognised by supporters of the awards, who emphasised the high calibre of all entries. Each of the winning organisations demonstrated a service or project that exemplifies the impact and vital role voluntary and community sector organisations can have in people’s lives every day.

Awards were presented in six categories, each supported and judged by representatives of independent organisations:

Strengthening Citizen Voice, supported and judged by NSUN, recognises voluntary sector organisations that are working to develop and promote the voice of public, patients and citizens in services. This award was presented to CoolTan Arts for their self-advocacy project Skills for a Stronger Voice. The project gives participants the opportunity to advocate on issues affecting their lives. The aim is to enable people to self-direct their social and mental health care.

Employment, supported and judged by the Department of Health, considered evidence based models of support which better coordinate mental health and employment support services. This award was presented to Mental Health Concern for their Moving Forward Newcastle service. It is a community based service which helps people to participate in mainstream activity, build social networks and re-enter education and employment.

Integration, supported and judged by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, recognises innovative ways of working between the voluntary sector and the NHS/Local Authority to deliver improved outcomes for service users. This award was presented to Mosaic Clubhouse for their role in the development and delivery of the Lambeth Living Well Network.

Personalised care and support in mental health, supported and judged by TLAP, recognises where personalisation has had a substantial impact in transforming an individual’s support. This award was presented to Action for Asperger’s for their work in providing bespoke 24 hr accessible support to people with and those affected by autism. They use a variety of new technologies to extend their support to people both nationally and internationally.

Crisis Care, supported and judged by the Department of Health and the Department for Work and Pensions. Better crisis care is key to ensuring that people in mental health crisis get the right care at the right time, and from the right people and this award recognises the role of the voluntary sector in meeting the needs of vulnerable people in crisis. The award was presented to Turning Point for their Crisis Point service in Manchester. The service was considered an innovative example of how community based short stay crisis accommodation can provide an alternative to hospital provision.

Prevention, supported and judged by Public Health England. As a key priority area for Public Health England, this Award recognises the vital role of the mental health voluntary sector in delivering

services which reduce the need for people to access primary and acute care. It was felt by the judges that 2 entries should be recognised so the prevention category was jointly won by Depression Alliance for their Friends in Need project and the STOP Suicide campaign. Friends In Need is a free and supportive community for everyone affected by depression. Members are able to connect with others, learn new things and provided with the opportunity to support other with depression. The STOP Suicide campaign is a joint project between Mind in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Fenland Mind, and Lifecraft with support from local NHS and Public Health teams. The campaign aims to prevent suicides by tackling the myths and taboo around suicide and encouraging members of the public to talk openly about the subject, recognise the warning signs and support those at risk to get help.

“We warmly congratulate all those honoured by these Awards,” says Kathy Roberts, Chief Executive of MHPF. “The quality of the entries shows the strength of the sector to provide services which make a difference to people affected by mental health problems. The feedback from the judges shows that the mental health voluntary sector is responsive to the needs of individuals and MHPF is proud to represent our membership and the wider sector, ensuring that it is promoted within the wider health and care system. We look forward to seeing the continual development of innovative, collaborative services that will shape the future of service provision.”

The awards ceremony was supported by speakers Andy Bell, Brendan Hill and Mark Brown. Each highlighted the role of the voluntary and community sector and the potential for the provision of improved, personalised services for people in need. Representatives also attended from NHS England, Public Health England, NSUN and TLAP.

The event was sponsored by Allied Insurance.

More information about MHPF and its member organisations can be found at www.mhpf.org.uk.

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