Learn more about the Act-Belong-Commit Mental Health Employee or Volunteer Excellence Finalists
The Employee Excellence Award recognises an outstanding contribution to mental health in WA by an individual employed or volunteering within the mental health sector.
These are in no particular order
Ashly is currently Nurse Manager for Ursula Frayne Unit (UFU), an older adult authorised mental health unit at St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital. The unit cares for some of our community’s most vulnerable people and is run as a public service through a contract with the WA Department of Health.
Ashly is self-motivated and incredibly diligent. She courageously took on the role of Acting Nurse Manager and accepted that there would be a period of learning, self-reflection and growth. She had a vision to deliver outstanding care to older adults with mental health challenges and the confidence that everything else she could learn quickly – which she did. Ashly has a natural gift for managing change and building teams. She utilises the expertise of the group to guide decisions and make improvements. She also invests so much of herself into their success, doing a lot of the background work, setting the team up to succeed and then letting them take the recognition. Her passion for mental health nursing is contagious and inspired the multidisciplinary team in which she works to go that bit further so they could deliver the highest quality patient care. She implemented a set of performance measures and patient feedback mechanisms that enabled evaluation of the service, highlighting opportunities for improvement. She supported the team to deliver a suite of quality improvements to lift the standards and partnered with industry experts to facilitate education and training opportunities for her staff.
Juana has been working as the manager and senior therapist of SECCA for over ten years, enriching the lives of people with disabilities and mental health issues through support on all aspects of relationships and sexuality. Juana recognises the intersection of disability and mental health, which creates complex needs in vulnerable individuals. She provides comprehensive psychotherapeutic support, relationship and sexuality counselling and education, builds skills in protective behaviours, and provides an interface for legal advice and advocacy for some of the most vulnerable members of society. Juana takes her role to a new level, helping clients manage their day to day mental health issues while building their capacity to navigate the systemic challenges that face them everyday. She works tirelessly and selflessly advocating for clients’ inclusion and human rights. The SECCA team felt strongly motivated to nominate Juana for this award due to her abundant strength of character and the vision and energy she brings to her work, her team, her clients, and the disability sector. Juana is a uniquely colourful and creative person with a passion for social justice. Her dedication and commitment to her managerial role is commendable and moving. As staff we have felt welcomed by her generosity of spirit and embraced by her caring and highly ethical nature. Her deep regard for her colleagues and clients is genuinely apparent, as is her wealth of knowledge. She is always accessible and generous with her time, enabling others to benefit from her experience and insights.
Lorenzo Martinez has a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) background, identifying as having Spanish and English Lived Experience of being a child carer and witness to his mother’s serious mental illness within historical Western Australian psychiatric systems of care. During this time Lorenzo was both frightened and traumatised by these experiences. He was himself diagnosed as an adult in 2015, with a Bipolar Disorder. His experiences from childhood made him reluctant to deeply engage with formal mental health services offered to him when acutely unwell. After discovering trauma informed recovery training through his part time work as a musical specialist Education Assistant, Lorenzo started his own journey of self-recovery. Interested in services willing to engage in staged Mental Health transformation, Lorenzo sought out a chance to join the Royal Perth Bentley Group (RPBG) Mental Health Division’s Integrated Lived Experience Advisory Group in 2019. Since then Lorenzo has grown into the most inspiring, talented, consistent, reliable and a positive contributing member of the RPBG Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG) for 2019-2020. Consulting on more than 20 major projects and service improvements across East Metropolitan Health Service (EMHS) on behalf of mental health child carers and consumers.
Jenny has been working for HelpingMinds as a Carer Advocate since 2012. The key objective of her role is to help people navigate the mental health system and stand up for their rights by giving them a voice. Jenny advocates for parents, partners and children (mental health carers) when a loved one is not getting the appropriate treatment, when staff in hospitals and mental health units do not listen to their concerns or when there are other obstacles in the client or carer receiving the appropriate support which can concern housing, accommodation, court orders, medication and treatment plans. She accompanies families in court when requested to advocate for court orders, guardianship, better patient outcomes and treatment.
Jenny goes above and beyond the requirements of her role to assist and support her clients. Whilst many people may consider retirement, Jenny has no intention of slowing down, her dedication and passion for her work makes her unstoppable. She advocates for every carer that seeks assistance with full 100% of energy and effort and the outcomes she achieves show in the glowing feedback we receive from clients in letters of gratitude and appreciation for Jenny’s assistance in helping change the outcome for the family member with the mental illness.