27 September 2019

MEDIA RELEASE
A Wagga Wagga GP who has dedicated his career to the mental health and chronic pain management in the Riverina is the winner of this year’s NSW Mental Health Commissioner’s Community Champion Award. 

Dr Jonathan Ho is a practicing GP in Wagga Wagga with a special interest in mental health. He is currently working in youth mental health (headspace, Wagga Wagga); adult mental health (LikeMind, Wagga Wagga) and Aboriginal health (Riverina Medical & Dental Aboriginal Cooperation).

NSW Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey nominated Dr Ho for the annual Community Champion Award after meeting him during a recent visit to Wagga Wagga. 

“Dr Ho’s in trauma informed mental health has been very positive for many people who have experienced his care,” Ms Lourey said. 

“I was particularly impressed by Dr Ho’s dedication to trauma-informed care and ensuring that he provides a safe space for his patients particularly those in the LGBTIQ+ community.  He always wears the rainbow and transgender flags on his lapel as a sign of respect.

“Dr Ho also has very strong connections to the Aboriginal community and has formed strong bonds with the local men, women and children.”

Deputy Commissioner and Wagga Wagga local, Jenna Roberts said Dr Ho’s contribution to the Wagga Wagga community was significant. 

“It’s difficult to articulate exactly how significant the impact Jonathan has had on the community. Despite being very busy, he is always present and ensures that he embodies the values that he openly speaks about,” Ms Roberts said.

“One of the most powerful yet subtle things about Jonathan is that he always thanks people for sharing a part of their life with him at the end of a consultation. This is one of the many ways Jonathan undertakes trauma-informed care.”

The annual NSW Mental Health Commissioner’s Community Champion Award is given to an individual or organisation that has made an outstanding contribution to mental health and wellbeing in their community. 

The Award was presented on 27 September as part of the annual Mental Health Matters Awards run by Wayahead. The Awards mark the start of Mental Health Month in NSW (October). 

ENDS

View a video on Dr Jonathon Ho's trauma-informed work on the Commission YouTube channel.

Media enquiries:
Pauline Sorbello | pauline.sorbello@mhc.nsw.gov.au | P: 02 9859 5228 | M: 0414 894 341

Any community members who are concerned about their own or a loved one’s mental health are encouraged to speak with trusted support services such as a family GP or school counsellor. Alternatively, find local services via Wayahead’s NSW Mental Health Service Directory or call one of the following support lines:

  • NSW Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

About the Mental Health Commission of New South Wales
The Mental Health Commission of NSW was established under the Mental Health Commission Act 2012 and came into operation on 1 July 2012. The Commission is an independent statutory authority established with the purpose of monitoring, reviewing and improving the mental health and wellbeing of the people of NSW. In all its work the Commission aims to reflect the experience of people who live with mental health issues, their families and carers.
 

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Last updated: 27 September 2019