BBC’s Newsnight, comedian Jon Richardson and long-running drama series Casualty were among the winners at last night’s Mind Media Awards, sponsored by Virgin Money Giving.
The 20th year of the awards ceremony, hosted by Scott Mills from BBC Radio 1 at the British Film Institute, brought Olivia Colman,Ruby Wax, Denise Welch and other celebrities together to celebrate the best portrayals and reporting of mental health in the media.
Newsnight’s documentary on postpartum psychosis won the first prize of the evening, the Ian Wilkinson News and Current Affairs Award. The film focuses on the one in 500 women who experience postpartum psychosis after the birth of a child and emphasizes the worrying under-reporting of this mental health problem.
The highly-competitive drama category was won by BBC One series The Village, for its compelling portrayal of young soldier Joe Middleton’s experiences with shell-shock after serving on the front line during WW1. Joe returns to his home in a quiet Derbyshire village and the psychological impact of war becomes clear, compounded by terrible social stigma and lack of understanding.
Casualty took home the award for best Soap or continual series, recognising their long running anorexia storyline, involving characters Nick Jordan and hospital outpatient Lauren.
Actress Olivia Colman presented the Speaking Out Award, sponsored by Comic Relief. The award, for someone who has told an in-depth personal story about their experience of mental health problems, went to Joyce Salter, who appears in Jon Richardson’s Channel 4 documentary A Little Bit OCD. Within the film, Joyce speaks about her father’s experiences with OCD as well as her own, and bravely opens up about her son Martin’s decision to take his own life.
Scott Mills said:
“The media has amazing power to inform and to inspire. It has a duty to tell the truth about mental health problems and in doing so, challenge the painfully outdated opinions that many people still hold.
This is why I’m so proud to host this year’s Mind Media Awards, sponsored by Virgin Money Giving, to celebrate those in the industry who have stepped up to the plate, recognised the stand they can take to crush stereotypes, and told the real story of mental health.”
Olivia Colman said:
“I believe authenticity is at the heart of any drama worth its salt – it’s as true for costume design as a character’s accent, but it’s vital that programme makers understand there’s no exception when it comes to the portrayal of mental health problems. The media industry has huge influence and with that comes a responsibility to contest the stigma that sadly still exists, through accurate representation.
The Mind Media Awards sponsored by Virgin Money Giving, challenges actors, writers, programme makers, journalists and bloggers to do just this and I was thrilled to present an award at this year’s event.”
Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind said:
“Tonight’s winners have again shown us just how committed individuals working in the media industry are to telling the true story of mental health problems and, in turn, challenging attitudes and questioning stigma. Support for the Mind Media Awards and the quality of entries grows year on year, making our jobs to choose the winners even more difficult.
We know that accurate reporting has a hugely positive impact on people who are affected by mental health problems but, sadly, stigma and discrimination still prevails in society. That’s why we want to thank all our winners and our shortlisters for being brave enough to keep on challenging perceptions and making the voices of those with mental health problems heard.”
The full list of winners at the Mind Media Awards 2013:
Jon Richardson: A Little Bit OCD (Open Mike Productions for Channel 4)
Comedian Jon Richardson explores the spectrum of symptoms experienced by people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Contributors share their stories - from a teenager’s early experiences to a lady whose son tragically took his own life. Throughout the show Jon questions his own behaviour.
The Village (Company Pictures for BBC One)
As the Middleton family’s eldest son returns from the WW1 front line, to their quiet Derbyshire village, the psychological impact of war becomes clear. Joe battles his own shell-shock, compounded by terrible social stigma and lack of understanding.
Ian Wilkinson News and Current Affairs Award
Newsnight: Postpartum Psychosis (BBC Two)
A focus on the 1 in 500 women who experience postpartum psychosis after the birth of a child. The item emphasizes the under-reporting of this mental health issue and speaks with people affected by the illness.
Caterer and Hotelkeeper Magazine: Open Minds Campaign
Through first person accounts of those working in hospitality, the campaign which spans four issues, highlights the stigma apparent within the industry.
Scorzayzee & the S-Word (Radio 1Xtra)
Nottingham rapper Scorzayzee talks to childhood friend, Radio 1 and 1Xtra's MistaJam, about his battle with psychosis and schizophrenia. Jam returns to the community recording studio where they first met, to talk in-depth about his illness.
Soaps or continual series
Casualty (BBC Productions for BBC One)
Nick Jordan meets feisty outpatient Lauren. Lauren implies she’s terminally ill but Jordon discovers she has anorexia and fights for her recovery.
Fixers talk about mental health (ITV and UTV Regional News)
16-25 year-olds choose campaigns to benefit themselves, their communities and the wider worlds. The series covers those who are taking action to raise awareness about a range of mental health problems.
The Mark Hanson Digital Media Award
Purple Persuasion http://purplepersuasion.wordpress.com
Charlotte Walker writes about her experience of being a mother, partner, worker, woman and service user with bipolar disorder, including recent accounts of ATOS and the Work Capability Assessment.
Journalist of the Year, sponsored by Bupa
Catrin Nye (Newsnight and BBC Asian Network)
Her work for Newsnight and BBC Asian Network was instrumental in highlighting the use of spiritual exorcisms in the UK’s South Asian communities. She exposed how the use of spiritual practices can at times mean mental health disorders are left untreated.
Anna Sargent Student Journalist Award
Holly McCormack (Mental Matters Magazine)
Through her recovery-based magazine, Holly takes a look at mental health from personal points of view.
Speaking Out Award, sponsored by Comic Relief
Joyce Salter (A Little Bit OCD, Channel 4)
Within the Channel 4 documentary, Joyce speaks about her father’s experiences with OCD as well as her own, and opens up about her son Martin’s decision to take his own life.
Making a Difference Award, sponsored by Havas Worldwide London
Through Newsnight and his Men’s Hour show on BBC Radio 5 Live, Tim continues to challenge mental health taboos across the BBC. He consistently shines a light on men’s mental health, and supports other men to open up with unusual candour.