Winners were announced at an award ceremony that took place at Pepper’s Silo in Launceston, on Thursday 30th March.

2023 saw the LiFE Awards bring in an amazing 28 nominations across the five award categories, with over half of the nominations coming from the North-West coast of Tasmania.

It was inspiring to hear of people’s willingness to do their part in supporting individuals, groups, communities and workplaces in such an important area of work.

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and thank you for the contribution you make to suicide prevention, intervention and post-vention in Tasmania.

2023 LiFE Award winners were:

Outstanding Contribution LiFE Award was awarded to Tracey Martin-Cole

As the director of Psychology CAFFE, a group mental health practice in the North West, Tracey understands deeply the need for community-based support that is not siloed in a clinical office but is an integrated part of the community. Her practice uses not only individual therapies but also community-based supports and group programs.

Access to mental health services in a rural community is difficult due to limited resources, cost of mental health treatment and stigma. As a local, Tracey is well aware of these barriers. She has developed a model that allows access regardless of an individual’s situation and she provides training to ensure local services can best support people in need, especially when in a crisis situation.

Baxter accepted Tracey’s award on her behalf as she was unable to attend. 

Communities in Action for Suicide Prevention LiFE Award was awarded to Stronger Together in Circular Head (STICH)

Stronger Together in Circular Head (STICH) is a community mental health promotion and suicide prevention group. STICH members are passionate people from diverse backgrounds who care deeply about mental health. They host events and activities to promote community connection. Lived experience speakers at these events help people to know they are not alone.

Funding sourced by Stronger Together in Circular Head has allowed more than 50 people to complete Community Response to Eliminating Suicide (CORES), mental health first aid and/or accidental counsellor training during 2022. The impact of people having these important skills is a huge benefit to the community.

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

CARE (Commit, Assess, Recognise, Encourage) is the keystone safety and mental health program at Simplot potato processing plant in Ulverstone. An outstanding feature of the program is CARE Conversations. This is where employees are encouraged to not only talk about safety issues but to regularly discuss each other’s well-being.

In 2017, Simplot introduced a Kick Start Day, the first day of a new year where employees come together to have a look back at the year that was and look ahead to the new year. The next part of Simplot’s journey is the launch of a Be Well Lead Well mental health program, which will train more than 200 workplace leaders.

Outstanding Contribution to Suicide Prevention by a Young Person LiFE Award was awarded to Jasmine Ellis

Jasmine is passionate about sharing her story to inspire young people going through their own mental health journey. She has been volunteering for the Headspace Advisory Reference Group (HART) for the past four years. Through this position, she is able to use her personal lived experience to ensure that Headspace services are meeting the needs of young queer people.

Jasmine describes the pride and value evident in hosting events such as the Queer Youth Ball through her role at HART. Events like this allow young people to ‘just be themselves for the night’, providing invaluable opportunities to celebrate and embrace diversity, and promoting hope for a brighter future. These events can only occur with the dedication, sacrifice and passion that people like Jasmine contribute.

Innovative Practice and Research LiFE Award was awarded to Grumpy Goat Co Care Farm

Inspired by her own experience with trauma and mental ill health, and knowing firsthand the healing benefits animals bring to people’s lives, Ally founded the Grumpy Goat Co Care Farm. The farm has partnerships with the primary school and high school in Smithton, which engages at-risk youth in activities such as animal care, farm maintenance, and fence building.

The Grumpy Goat Co Care Farm also runs a wildly popular Goat Yoga program. The yoga promotes movement, social connection, and plenty of laughter. Feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive, with many saying that Goat Yoga is the only thing that would encourage them to leave the house and eventually reintegrate into society after mental ill health. The Grumpy Goat Co Care Farm is open to people of all ages, capacities, and needs, and promotes a sense of hope and healing.

Laura accepted Ally’s award on her behalf as she was unable to attend. 

Check out the fantastic photos taken by our photographer, Nick Hanson, during the event: