A long-term Pilbara paediatrician is in the running for one of the State’s top awards for the mental health sector.

Anand Deshmukh has been named a finalist for the Eric Dillon Consulting mental health employee excellence award, one of eight categories in the State Government’s annual WA Mental Health Awards.

The recognition comes less than six months after Dr Deshmukh was awarded specialist of the year (non-GP) at the WA Country Doctors’ Awards earlier this year.

The Karratha-based paediatrician, who has spent 11 years treating children in Pilbara communities including Karratha, Roebourne, Tom Price, Paraburdoo and Onslow, said mental health issues were a growing problem for young people in the region and now made up about 50 per cent of his workload.

Witnessing that trend led him to complete a Graduate Diploma in Mental Health five years ago in an effort to provide his patients with better care.

“Although I’m a physician, I felt I had to take on this extra work to try and help people in local communities, because we’re starting to see so much of these types of issues,” he said.

Mental Health Minister Roger Cook said the WA Mental Health Awards were important for recognising and rewarding outstanding achievements towards improving the state of mental health and wellbeing in WA.

“Congratulations to all the finalists for the 2019 Awards who demonstrate some of the very best mental health initiatives in WA,” he said.

Award winners will be announced on Monday.