OzHelp named ACT Telstra Social Change Maker of the Year

OzHelp is honoured to have received the 2019 ACT Telstra Social Change Maker Award.

This recognition as a ‘social change maker’ comes at a time when change is very much needed to stem the growing rates of suicide and mental ill health in Australia. In 2017, Australian Bureau of Statistics data reported an average of 8 deaths by suicide in Australia each day, 6 of whom are men. The impacts of suicide, mental illness and personal crises have far reaching impacts for individuals, families, workplaces and communities.

“This incredible recognition will support OzHelp as we seek to expand our impact by partnering with organisations and industry to improve the mental health and wellbeing of workers across our nation,” said Darren Black, OzHelp CEO.

While efforts to raise awareness, and provide community based and clinical supports for people experiencing mental illness continue across the sector, there is not enough being done to support or invest in ‘high risk’ and ‘hard to reach’ groups. OzHelp’s point of difference is its unique full service approach which includes individual health screening, education and training, ongoing support and counselling.

“We take our services directly into the workplaces and communities that need them most. We find that suicidality and mental illness are over-represented in certain male dominated industries, characterised by high stress and low levels of help seeking, such as construction, mining, farming and transport services,” said Mr Black.

OzHelp was founded following the tragic death of young construction apprentice, David O’Bryan and in response to alarming suicide rates for young men. The organisation has stayed true to its mission and audience for 17 years, and is now expanding its life saving impacts nationally.

“We are truly honoured to be recognised with a Telstra Business Award. Not only is it affirmation for all the hard work of our staff, partners and supporters, but it is a chance to put a spotlight on workplace health and wellbeing. We encourage more employers to ‘do right’ by their staff, and take action to improve mental health in their workplaces.”

OzHelp Foundation express their thanks to all staff and supporters for their role in this award win. They further recognise Founding Partners—David’s mother Loraine O’Bryan, ACT Government, CFMEU and the MBA, and thank the Telstra Business Awards for their continued recognition of local business excellence.

Media Contact

Rebecca McHarg, 0419 278 329

For comment or interview

Mr Darren Black, CEO OzHelp Foundation.