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Mental health clinicians in the spotlight

For the first time in two years, the district’s mental health drug and alcohol teams gathered in person to celebrate their achievements.

The annual event was held at Hornsby RSL where staff enjoyed lunch and some entertainment by former Channel 9’s Today show entertainment reporter Richard Reid, who was MC for the day.

Interim Chief Executive Lee Gregory said the past three years had “not been easy times for any of us” and clinicians had seen first-hand how the community has suffered through the pandemic.

“We have seen the increase in the number of people experiencing a mental health or substance issue present to our hospitals,” he said.

“You know first-hand the challenges that our hospitals and health services have faced and you have continued to provide the highest quality care and compassion to all who come through our doors needing help.

“There has been a lot to celebrate, including the expansion of PACER, which is proving to be such a needed and welcome asset in our community to assist those people in need. Other achievements include the delivery of virtual mental health service and safeguard teams for child youth mental health services.”

There were 165 nominations received this year for the MHDA Rewards and Recognition program across eight categories - see the full list of winners below. 

Staff member of the year (non-management)
Lisa Townsend, Child and Youth Mental Health Services (MHS)

Staff member of the year, consumer/carer nominated
Donna Toll, North Shore Ryde MHS

Collaborative team  
Youth Response Team, Child and Youth MHS

James Hannelly and Michael Troy, North Shore Ryde MHS

Manager of the year
Anthony Neville, Northern Beaches MHS

Support service                 
Indra Bhandari and Phatwaran Thavee, Child and Youth MHS 

Quality, improvement and innovation 
Paul Tyne, Child and Youth MHS

Unsung Heroes
Emily Walters, Child and Youth MHS
Rebecca Colegrave, Drug and Alcohol 
Kiah Robertson, Hornsby Ku-ring-gai MHS 
Fiona Kearney, Macquarie Hospital
Kerry Mawson, MHDA Directorate
Patricia Nixon, Northern Beaches MHS 
Darrel Hannam, North Shore Ryde MHS 
Stephen McCabe, North Shore Ryde MHS
Peo-hong Veigal, Older Persons MHS

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