Graphic: RFDS Mental Health Nurses Glynis Thorp and Vanessa Latham with the prize they collected at the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses event

RFDS mental health team wins top award at international conference

Date published

07 Nov 2017

A poster showcasing ways the Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern (RFDS SE) Section helps isolated communities manage mental health was named Best Poster at a global mental health conference in Hobart on 27 October.

RFDS SE Section mental health nurses Vanessa Latham and Glynis Thorp collected the award at the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses 43rd International Mental Health and Nursing Conference.

“The Flying Doctor is traditionally known for its emergency evacuation services so we developed this poster to raise awareness of mental healthcare supports we offer Outback communities,” Glynis said.

“Hundreds of mental health professionals from across Australia and abroad were at the conference.

“Before the conference, many said they weren’t aware of the mental health and other primary healthcare services we deliver. But now they are.”

Winning the Best Poster award among a field of highly respected nominees was icing on the cake, Glynis said.

“We don’t work to win competitions but when we are recognised it’s really humbling,” she said.

“We take great pride in knowing we’ve been able to educate others in the mental health space about collaborative, community focussed Outback mental healthcare service delivery.”

Glynis said the winning poster was developed in conjunction with Isaac Ruhs from Fast Print Studio Broken Hill.

“As well as a nice trophy, we were given $1000 for winning the award and this will go back to the RFDS, to help fund local mental health services.”

RFDS SE Section Chief Executive Officer Greg Sam congratulated the team on their achievement.

“We’re very proud of the great work our Mental Health Team are doing in the local community,” he said.

“It’s great to see their efforts recognised and we thank everyone in the community for their ongoing support of our efforts to improve mental health outcomes in the Outback.”