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Mind Media Awards 2019 criteria

Entries for all Mind Media Awards 2019 categories must meet the following criteria. Entries that do not satisfy the criteria below will not be considered.

The awards are judged by an independent panel of media professionals and people with experience of mental health problems.


To be eligible for the Mind Media Awards 2019, programmes or articles must have been broadcast or published in the UK or have been available online between 18 June 2018 and 17 June 2019 (inclusive).

Essential criteria

All winning entries should meet the following essential criteria:

  1. Relevant content
  2. Challenges perceptions of mental health
  3. Well crafted and responsibly produced
  4. Safe for intended audiences
  5. Can demonstrate reach and impact (apart from Student Journalist award which will be judged on potential).

Relevant content

  • The focus must be on mental health. Entries are likely to cover such mental health problems as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, phobias, psychosis, compulsive behaviours, post-traumatic stress disorders and the mental trauma of addiction.
  • For all news, documentaries and journalism entries, it must give a voice to people with mental health problems and include at least one first hand testimony.
  • It should look in depth at the emotional impact of the mental health problem on the individual and/or friends and family of those affected.
  • Entries that focus purely on scientific issues such as testing new drug treatments with no first hand testimony or which do not tackle stigma, are not eligible.
  • The awards do not cover learning difficulties or learning disabilities such as Asperger or autism syndrome and will not include items about dementia or Alzheimers.

Challenges perceptions of mental health

  • Prompts a debate about mental health and contributes towards tackling mental health stigma and discrimination.
  • Challenges myths and avoids stereotypes, clichés and negative terminology.
  • Adopts positive language about mental health problems and avoids sensationalism.
  • Promotes equality and encourages audiences to see people with mental health problems in the round and not just in relation to their diagnosis.
  • Reaches a wide audience unfamiliar with mental health problems and helps to improve public attitudes.

Well crafted and responsibly produced

  • Items must be well researched and accurate.
  • News reporting must be balanced and fair.
  • Engaging and appropriate for the audience for which it was intended.
  • High production and editorial values.
  • Demonstrates originality and relevance.
  • Well structured.

Safe for intended audiences

  • Journalists, programme-makers and film-makers have a duty to report and portray mental health problems responsibly and sensitively and should take all reasonable steps to avoid causing emotional or physical damage.
  • The portrayal of suicide and self-harm must be safe and meet the Samaritans media guidelines.
  • Entries must not provide explicit or technical details of suicide or self-harm as there is evidence to show that this can lead copycat behaviour. For example, specifying the number and type of tablets used in an overdose or showing someone self-harming.
  • Entries must not romanticise, glorify or simplify suicide or self-harm.

Can demonstrate reach and impact

  • All entries should be able to demonstrate impact on a UK audience either because they were broadcast on a UK terrestrial or satellite channel, published in the UK or have been on theatrical general release in commercial cinemas in the UK. If only available online, they must have originated in the UK and/or were demonstrably marketed to and/or consumed by a UK audience.
  • Consideration will be given to the total audience reached.
  • May have triggered additional media coverage or policy change.
  • Credit will also be given to material that reaches a wide demographic, particularly those less likely to be well informed about mental health.
  • For online entries, it is accepted that the audience may be narrower and a successful entry may be aimed at countering self-stigma or offering support and information to those affected by mental health problems.
  • For Student Journalist, it is accepted that entries may have limited reach if they are produced as part of a journalism course. They will be judged on the understanding and sensitivity shown by the student journalist and recognise their potential.

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