ACMHN media release
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Tuesday 6 October 2015

Collaborative and caring professional wins Mental Health Nurse of the Year 2015  
The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) has named Canberra nurse, Bill Bailey, Mental Health Nurse of the Year. 

Bill Bailey has worked for the last 10 years with the Emergency Department at The Canberra Hospital (TCH) within the Mental Health Assessment Unit (MHAU).

The MHAU at TCH was created as an improvement to the ‘isolation cubicle’ model seen in many Australian emergency departments.  When the MHAU was created it was a revolutionary model of care for TCH, with permanent on-site mental health workers and a new ability to perform both clinical referrals and primary assessment. Since the MHAU’s inception, Bill has been a champion for the project. He has worked to improve interactions with mental health consumers by teaching, assisting, and counselling mental health and emergency department staff.

“I’m honoured to be recognised as Mental Health Nurse of the Year by the College,” said Mr Bailey. “I have been working in mental health since 1999 and I am proud to have been a part of the positive changes that we have seen in mental health care in that time”.

ACMHN President Professor Wendy Cross is delighted to be able to recognise Mr Bailey’s work with this award. “Bill is a strong and tireless advocate for the improvement of mental health care. It was wonderful to receive such a strong letter of support from Bill’s ED colleagues,” Professor Cross said. 

“Bill’s efforts have led to better outcomes for consumers and increased coordination and cooperation amongst the staff at The Canberra Hospital.  Bill is not afraid to break down clinical silos and work across boundaries to achieve the best results for consumers,” continued Professor Cross.

Established by the ACMHN in 2008, the Mental Health Nurse of the Year award recognises the achievements of mental health nurses, and promotes the importance of mental health nursing as a specialty. The award, supported by Wiley, was presented at the International Conference on Mental Health Nursing (ACMHN2015) being held in Brisbane this week. 

Also announced during the Conference was the Mental Health Nurse Achievement Award, which was awarded to Francis Acquah of Victoria. Francis has worked for over 25 years providing primary health care services in Australia, the United Kingdom and Ghana. His private practice, Positive Mental Health Program, employs Credentialed Health Nurses and offers outreach and community referral services to a range of GPs and Psychiatrists in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

Approximately 350 mental health nurses and others working in mental health are attending the Conference, which is an opportunity for participants to stay up to date on trends in clinical practice, research, and education, and explore the changing scope of mental health nursing. 

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Media contacts: Fiona Walls, Communications Officer, ACMHN, 0414 358 091
Copyright © 2015 ACMHN, All rights reserved.

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