Media release: Winners of the 2023 WA Mental Health Awards

Last night, nine inspiring awardees were recognised for their outstanding contributions to mental health at the 2023 WA Mental Health Awards.

Presented annually by the Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) with support from the Western Australian Mental Health Commission and many partners, the Awards recognise outstanding achievements in mental health that improve mental health in WA during the 2022 calendar year.

In 2023, WAAMH received 144 nominations across nine categories, resulting in 34 finalists and 9 winners.

The 2023 WA Mental Health Award winners are:

Minister’s Award: Prof. Ashleigh Lin
For her work in the field of youth mental health research in WA, with a primary focus on marginalised groups, including young LGBTIQA+ individuals and Aboriginal youth. Prof Lin is also an advocate for policy development related to suicide prevention and mental health in WA.

Lived Experience Impact and Inspiration Award: Dan Cazangiu
For his work as a mentor and as a peer worker in Start Court, where he advocates for mental health awareness, mentors future peer workers, and has positively impacted more than 100 Start Court participants.

Diversity Award: Our Place
For delivering an inclusive program in WA designed for LGBTIQA+ young people aged 12 to 25 years, in collaboration with the City of Swan, Youth Focus, and headspace Midland. It addresses the mental health and community inclusion challenges faced by LGBTIQA+ youth, who often experience social exclusion and stigmatisation.

Mental Health Employee or Volunteer Excellence Award: Leanda Verrier
For serving as the state wide coordinator of the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health program at King Edward Memorial Hospital, where she excelled in planning, implementing, and evaluating strategies, services, and research in this field.

Innovation for Change Award: Together We Ride
For its early intervention program in Broome, supporting at-risk youth aged 12-14 years. The initiative aims to prevent youth from entering the criminal justice system by helping them develop life skills and reconnect with family, culture, and education.

Mentally Healthy Education Award: Kinross Primary School
For taking proactive steps to support its students, staff, and volunteers facing mental health challenges. Kinross Primary School actively addresses mental health, bullying, and discrimination, resulting in a positive and safe school culture, high satisfaction among its stakeholders, and a commitment to continual improvement.

Mentally Healthy Workplace Award: Mineral Resources (MinRes)
MinRes actively supports employees facing mental health challenges by promoting psychological wellbeing and reducing stigma. It has trained mental health champions, partnered with Mental Health First Aid Australia, and initiated the Mind Matters series to educate employees and families.

Mental Health News Media Award: Martin Wilson, Nicole Ferraro, Third Storey Pictures & HelpingMinds
Directed and produced by Martin Wilson, produced by Nicole Ferraro, and supported by HelpingMinds and Third Storey Pictures, the locally produced film PIECES is a pseudo-documentary that explores the lives of individuals living with complex mental illnesses, aimed at breaking down stigma and stereotypes. The work entertains, fosters important conversations, and promotes help-seeking in the mental health space.

Promotion or Prevention and Promotion Award: ALIVE & Kicking Goals! Youth Suicide Prevention Program (AKG!)
For establishing a program addressing rising suicide rates, primarily in the West Kimberley. Managed by Mens Outreach Service Aboriginal Corporation, AKG focuses on early intervention and youth suicide prevention through peer-led workshops and one-on-one mentoring.

Minister's Award Winner
Lived Experience Impact and Inspiration Award Winner
Diversity Award Winner
Mental Health Employee or Volunteer Excellence Winner
Innovation for Change Award Winner
Mentally Healthy Education Award Winner
Mentally Healthy Workplace Award Winner
Mental Health News Media Award Winner
Promotion or Prevention and Promotion Award Winner

WAAMH congratulates all the winners and finalists for the awards.

For more information visit

Michelle Kelly
Communications Specialist
Western Australian Association for Mental Health
0499 007 383