To mark the start of national mental health week, one of Australia’s leading Institutes working in the prevention of mental illness and the prevention of suicide has announced a big change.
After 25 years of delivering world-leading prevention programs and research, today the Hunter Institute of Mental Health will rebrand and relaunch as Everymind.
While the Institute will continue to base its 40-plus staff in Newcastle NSW, the director Jaelea Skehan said the time was right to make the change.
“While we have deep connections to our local region through the Hunter New England Local Health District and the University of Newcastle, our work has been nationally focused for the past 20 years.
“It is a unique point of difference for us to work nationally from our regional base, but we believed that the time was right to rebrand the Institute so we could better communicate about the work that we do and the values driven way that we go about doing it.
“The name Everymind is perfect for us, because prevention is at the heart of everything we do.”
“We believe that every sector, every community and every individual can make a meaningful contribution to improving mental health and preventing suicide,” said Ms Skehan.
The Institute was first established by the Hunter New England Local Health District in 1992 as a self-funding solution to education and training needs of the mental health workforce and community. Lead by well-known psychologist Professor Trevor Waring, the Institute broadened its scope to deliver state-wide and national programs within its first five years.
The growth and reputation of the Institute expanded over the next 20 years, including two-decades of work with media in Australia to improve the reporting and portrayal of suicide and mental illness as part of the Mindframe Initiative. An Initiative highlighted by the World Health Organisation in 2014 when it released its first global report on suicide.
This year, Everymind received additional Commonwealth funds to build a new online portal that connects suicide prevention work nationally as part of Life in Mind, and in the July budget they were announced as the co-leads for a new Prevention Hub that would deliver translational research to reduce anxiety and depression.
“I’d like to congratulate Everymind for their continued work in the prevention of mental illness and prevention of suicide. Everymind’s new name aligns well with their strong prevention focus.
“Everymind is the co-lead in a new Commonwealth funded mental health research hub to prevent anxiety and depression – focusing on workplaces, young people and families and our medical workforce,” Mr Hunt said.
Everymind has also pioneered pre-service training approaches for teachers and early childhood workers, has developed innovative community and family programs like Partners in Depression and Conversations Matter and led improvements in workplace mental health approaches across a range of industries and, more recently, the small business sector.
In conjunction with the launch event in Newcastle today, Everymind director, Jaelea Skehan said that she and her staff would use this relaunch, and the momentum of national mental health week, to re-dedicate themselves to changing lives and saving lives.
“At Everymind we have a bold vision and believe in a world where all people and all communities are mentally healthy and live well.
“But to achieve that vision, we need to ensure that prevention remains a national priority and that enough resources and collective effort are directed towards putting prevention into practice – across every setting and across every community.
“It is not enough to have a scattergun approach – we know prevention works and we need to trial, test and scale interventions so that every school, every workplace, every service, every community and every family can benefit,” said Ms Skehan.
Published: 9 October 2017