The Local health team from North Sydney Local Health District was a finalist for the Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services category at the 24th annual NSW Health Awards 2022 on the 1st of December.

Now in its 24th year, the annual NSW Health Awards showcase the breadth of skills and health programs delivering significant outcomes to patients around the state, this year celebrating the incredible achievements of 12 winners and 36 finalists from more than 171 nominations.

Member for Manly James Griffin said Northern Sydney Local Health District was recognised from hundreds of nominations across NSW in eleven categories which celebrate and recognise the outstanding healthcare provided by staff working across NSW.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australian children and young people aged 5–17 years and clusters of suicide deaths are more common among young people aged under 25 years than in adults.

Responding to the suicide death of a young person (postvention) requires rapid and considered action to support those bereaved, prevent imitative suicides by individuals who may be at risk, and connect them to intervention services.

Following a cluster of three youth suicide deaths in 2020, CYMHS leaders took immediate action to concurrently devise and implement the innovative Framework, which draws on international evidence to map a “Circle of Vulnerability (CoV)” including the suicide bereaved, affected and exposed

The Framework provides a clear, systematic approach to identifying at-risk individuals and action to offer support, including voluntary inpatient admissions or community support. It enables a proactive approach to prevent further suicide deaths in vulnerable, high-risk populations.

Since the Framework’s inception, the CYMHS has identified 71 vulnerable people who were provided with support to reduce the risk of suicide. Youth suicide death rates decreased in the district in 2021 and 2022, and the Framework has been enacted within 48 hours of each tragic incident.

“Despite the challenges of the last few years, our healthcare staff continue to go above and beyond to care for our community,” Mr Griffin said.

"The Excellence in the Provision of Mental Health Services award is just one way we can acknowledge the dedication and skill that Northern Sydney Local Health District’s mental health team provides to our world-class health system.”

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff across our incredible health facilities for their hard work and commitment to providing excellent patient care for our community every day” said James Griffin MP.

For more information including a full list of winners of the 2022 NSW Health Awards, visit https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/innovation/2022awards/Pages/default.aspx.