Winners were announced at an award ceremony which took place on Wednesday 23 May at the Penny Royal Launceston.

2018 LiFE Award winners were:

Outstanding Contribution LiFE Award was awarded to Doug Vautier

Doug Vautier is the founding CEO of OzHelp Tasmania Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing workplace based early intervention suicide prevention and social capacity building programs. He has been working in this position for 11 years, throughout this time he has played a significant advocacy role in suicide prevention and mental health and wellbeing initiatives.

Communities in Action for Suicide Prevention LiFE Award was awarded to The Break O’Day Mental Health Action Group

The Break O’Day Mental Health Action Group was established in 2016 to ensure ongoing action towards suicide prevention within the Break O’Day community. The group have run extensive consultation within the community which lead them to develop a community action plan for suicide prevention.

In 2016 and 2017 thee group rolled out Mental Health Week activities and have ensured that positive mental health and resilience are an ongoing focus for the community. The group have supported numerous training opportunities to up-skill the community in mental health, suicide prevention as well as to enhance community well-being.

Best Practice in Suicide Prevention in a Workplace LiFE Award was awarded to Hydro Tasmania

Hydro Tasmania has taken a pro-active approach to suicide prevention within the workplace. In 2015 Hydro Tasmania implemented a workplace health and well-being program to support overall workplace mental health and suicide prevention.

The Mental Health and Well-being Program includes training sessions to be undertaken on a quarterly basis and is inclusive of regional and remote sites including the West Coast, the lakes region and the Bass Strait islands. All Hydro Tasmania managers are trained in identifying and managing mental health and well-being, creating a safe and healthy work environment for employees to seek assistance and receive appropriate supports.

In 2017/18 Hydro Tas rolled out suicide awareness training to over 70% of their workforce from this 100% of participants reported that they are aware of support services available and how to connect someone in need. The flow on influence to employee’s family, friend and social networks means that this important program will have dispersed key messages about mental health and supports to countless others across the Tasmanian community. Increasing the likelihood of individuals recognising when others may be struggling and linking them to appropriate support.

Outstanding Contribution to Suicide Prevention by a Young Person LiFE Award was awarded to Ben Hirst

Ben Hirst is a self-appointed volunteer and ambassador for mental health and suicide prevention. Ben has translated his personal experience with mental health demons into a passion for breaking down the stigma around mental health and in turn, suicide prevention.

Ben has become a prominent figure in the Tasmanian community as he raises awareness and fundraisers for mental health through his Run for Mental Health initiatives. This work not only raises awareness within the community but is a powerful reminder that running is a tool used by many people to manage their mental health.