ReachOut CEO awarded the 2022 eMental Health International Collaborative (eMHIC) Innovation Leadership award for Australia

22 Nov 2022

CEO of ReachOut, Ashley de Silva, has been recognised as an outstanding leader, taking out this years’  eMental Health International Collaborative (eMHIC) Innovation Leadership award for Australia. 

Each year, eMHIC acknowledges one award recipient from each member country to receive a country-specific award in eMental Health. These awards celebrate an organisation or individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and made an exceptional contribution to digital mental health. 

de Silva, was commended for driving innovation in the area of digital mental health and for his collaboration across the sector. He was also celebrated for firmly embedding lived- and living-experience in service design and delivery of ReachOut’s new service – ReachOut PeerChat. 

ReachOut PeerChat is an innovative new evidence-based one-to-one digital peer support service which aims to connect more young people to support tailored to their needs.

When developing the new service ReachOut applied a human-centred approach to design and engaged in extensive research with young people in Australia. The service was co-produced with young people and peer workers to meet their needs. Co-producing the service with young people and peer workers with lived- and living-experience of mental health challenges ensured ReachOut developed a service that is robust, effective and meets the real-life needs of the intended users. 

Andrew Wilson,Board Chair at ReachOut applauded de Silva for his tremendous contribution to ReachOut over the years and for leading the team. 

“Ash’s forward-thinking leadership is an instrumental reason why ReachOut is the leading digital youth mental health service in Australia. He is an inspiring and passionate leader who empowers those around him. His belief, along with the wider ReachOut team, in the power of innovation and the importance of embedding lived and living experience means that ReachOut is a service that is well equipped to help young people feel better when it comes to their mental health. A huge congratulations to him on this well-deserved award. This award is also  amazing recognition of the hard work and dedication of the broader ReachOut team.” 

Ashley and the team at ReachOut extend their congratulations to the other winners at the eMHIC Awards including:

  • Kristofer Vernmark, Founder, Network for Digital Psychologists, Sweden
  • Ross & Arden Tomison, Founders, Thalanos, UK
  • Dr Patricia Lingley-Pottie, Co-founder, President & CEO, Strongest Families Institute, Canada
  • Ramakant Vempati & Jo Aggarwal, Co-Founders, Wysa, USA
  • Anna Elders, Clinical Lead, Just a Thought, New Zealand
  • Dr Christopher Cheok Cheng Soon, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore
  • Beverly Azucena, National Center for Mental Health, Philippines  

For more information on eMHIC Awards, visit