Public Advocate honours VICSERV
The Public Advocate's Award 2016 has been granted to the peak body of Victoria's community-managed mental health services.
Psychiatric Disability Services of Victoria (VICSERV) was awarded the honour at its biennial conference at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre due to its long-standing work with services, their consumers, families and carers.
The award included a framed certificate and a painting, 'Hope', by an artist with an experience of bi-polar disorder, Maree Roche.
In presenting the award, Public Advocate, Colleen Pearce, said that VICSERV had provided exemplary services to the sector, its consumers, families and carers for 30 years this year.
"In particular, it has showed courage over the last few years in advocating for Victorians with mental illness to access supports under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and continuing supports for those who may not be eligible," Ms Pearce said.
"In addition, there is currently a great deal of uncertainty as to what services NDIS will cover and what services will continue to be provided by state government and via Primary Health Networks.
"This could mean that those who are found ineligible for NDIS, or who do not want to participate for various reasons relating to their disability, could fall through the cracks."
Ms Pearce said that VICSERV was working hard to ensure that did not happen.
The Public Advocate's Award was initiated in 2010 to recognise organisations for their work with Victorians with disability or mental Illness, or who are otherwise vulnerable.
VICSERV CEO, Ms Kim Koop, said that the peak body was delighted to accept the award.
"An award like this acknowledges not just VICSERV staff, but the contribution of our members and their staff toward the development of contemporary mental health services in Victoria."
VICSERV president, Ms Liz Crowther, said that VICSERV had clocked up three decades of collaboration, innovation, capacity building and training work in Victoria.
"I congratulate the VICSERV team on receiving this award and acknowledge their ongoing commitment to VICSERV's important work," Ms Crowther said.
"It is a privilege to accept this award on behalf of the staff and members."
VICSERV co-ordinates, supports and advocates for the sector, and provides training, professional and policy development and information.
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