Local journalist Eleanor Harding wins Mind Journalist of the Year
Posted Friday 15 May 2009
Independent on Sunday writer Nina Lakhani highly commended
A local journalist who has tackled often overlooked mental health issues has been crowned Mind Journalist of the Year 2009. Eleanor Harding, reporter for the Wandsworth Guardian, took over the mantle from last year's winner, Mary O'Hara from Society Guardian, at the Mind Awards ceremony last night hosted by Mind's President Lord Melvyn Bragg.
The coveted award rewards excellence in reporting on mental health, and is open to print journalists who have challenged stigma and contributed to the greater understanding of mental health issues in the media. Awards presented also included the Mind Champion of the Year and Mind Book of the Year, and in a sweeping victory for media professionals, The Times journalist Sathnam Sanghera collected the book of the Year prize (1) while former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell was named Champion of the Year (2).
Mind's new Journalist of the Year Eleanor Harding fought off more than 50 entries from a wide variety of entrants, ranging from The Daily Telegraph to Men's Health magazine and the Big Issue. Eleanor was nominated for a series of articles produced for the newsgroup's mental health anti-stigma campaign, aimed at challenging mental health myths and ending stigma in the community. The articles explored living with lesser-known mental health issues, including body dysmorphic disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. Nina Lakhani from the Independent on Sunday was also highly commended for her consistent investigative reporting on the issues and injustices faced by people with mental health problems.
On receiving the award, Eleanor said:"Everyone in our community is affected by mental illness, whether that's through loved ones, colleagues or personal experience. Our year-long campaign aimed to break down the myths surrounding mental health issues in south west London, and we believe we were able to make a real difference at our local level. I'm so proud of what we've done, and I'd like to thank all of my colleagues who contributed to the campaign. It's such a privilege to be here, thank you so much."
Mind's Head of Media, Claire Ashby, said:"The media plays a major role in shaping our attitudes towards mental health, and we're delighted by the sheer range and quality of articles submitted this year that have all contributed towards improving understanding and awareness of mental health issues. In a year that has seen the launch of the anti-stigma campaign Time to Change, it's fantastic to see so many journalists playing their part in getting the true picture of mental health across."
Student Journalist of the Year
For the third year running, Mind presented a Student Journalist of the Year award to encourage informed mental health reporting in the student media. Nicola Byrom from Nottingham University won this year's award, for her highly informative and well-researched article on seeking help for mental distress.
Photos from the event are available to download from Flickr:
- Sathnam Sanghera is a columnist for The Times. He won the Mind Book of the Year award 2009 for his debut novel, 'The Boy with the Topknot'.
- The Mind Champion of the Year award is voted for by the public on Mind's website. Alastair Campbell was nominated for the award based on his awareness raising work including his BBC 2 documentary 'Cracking up' and novel 'All in the Mind', along with his campaigning work as part of ant-stigma campaign Time to Change.
Notes to editors
- Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We work to create a better life for everyone with experience of mental distress. www.mind.org.uk
- For more information, interviews and a range of case studies please contact Mind media office on T: 020 8522 1743 M: 07850 788514 E: email@example.com ISDN line available: 020 8221 0817.
- Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.