Excellence in mental health reporting celebrated last night at the Bupa Mind Media Awards
Lorraine Kelly, Shane Meadows, Sir Norman Lamb, and The Archers among the winners recognised for championing mental health in the UK media at last night’s Bupa Mind Media Awards.
Hosted by Radio One’s Greg James, the star-studded event took place at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre. Celebrity guests, including Fearne Cotton, Katie Piper and Lorraine Kelly, were in attendance to celebrate this year’s best portrayals and reporting of mental health in UK media.
The Mind Media Awards have been taking place for more than 25 years, with entries from this year more varied than ever before. From the mental health of UK war veterans to the under-reporting of postnatal depression in new fathers – each category was fit to burst with entries which both challenged stigma and built awareness around mental health.
Presented by Victoria McDonald, the ‘Making a Difference’ award was given to former Health Minister, Sir Norman Lamb, in recognition of his dedication to improving conditions for those with mental health problems.
Accepting his award, Sir Norman Lamb said:
"I want to thank Mind. What a fantastic and vital organisation this is.
"I feel that during the period I was at the Department of Health I felt like I was on a mission, I was determined to achieve as much as I could. There is so much more to do. I believe this is a battle for human rights.
"We lock people up when we don’t need to lock them up. We use force, when we do not need to use force. We shuttle them around the country in search for a bed, when we would never do that for people with physical health.
"We cannot ever be complacent in pursuing that fight."
Inspired by director Shane Meadow’s own experiences with anxiety and depression, Channel 4’s The Virtues was awarded best Drama. The gripping series follows Joseph, a recovering alcoholic who travels to Ireland to confront painful memories from his childhood.
Accepting the award, Shane revealed his own diagnosis of OCD, and said:
"This means the world to me, I’m very humbled to be here tonight. I was diagnosed with OCD in 2000 and I struggled with my mental health up until about 3-4 years ago. I decided to write The Virtues when I realised what had been at the root of my mental health issues.
"This award means as much as anything we’ve ever been honoured with before."
For the third year running, Mind teamed up with ITV’s Loose Women to present the Lighten the Load Hero Award. The award celebrates every day heroes who support people living with mental health problems. This year’s winner is Peter Martin, nominated by his wife Hayley for the way he has cared for her as she dealt with severe anxiety.
ITV also took another award home courtesy of Lorraine, whose Shine a Light Campaign won in the Entertainment category. This campaign aimed to break taboos around often misunderstood mental health problems such as PTSD, OCD and bipolar disorder and featured top celebs such as Mel B, Rita Simons and Anna Carteret.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind said:
"The profile that mental health has today is down in large part to all the journalists and programme makers and bloggers and storyline creators who not only take the subject on, but do it with courage and sensitivity and above all with a dedication to letting the experiences of people who have actually been there shine through.
"We are at a curious tipping point for mental health, where many are starting to say ok, now what – we talked and we asked for help so where is it? Many thousands of people still struggle in silence but those early pioneers who were the first to tell their stories are frustrated by the pace of change. Sometimes it feels as though the Pause button has been pressed - the intentions are positive, but the pace feels slow.
"Now more than ever you are helping us remind those in power that they cannot afford to forget about mental health. Thank you for continuing to bring these issues out into the open and, most of all, for supporting people to tell their own stories."
Other winners included Marverine Cole, who won the prestigious Journalist award for her BBC Radio 4 programme Black Girls Don’t Cry. Cole’s documentary explored why women of African-Caribbean heritage living in the UK are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive disorder than white women.
Channel 4 received the News and Current affairs award in recognition of their varied coverage of mental health issues over the past year, including a stand-out piece on the impact of being the child of a person with mental health problems.
BBC Arabic Documentaries’ Iraq: A State of Mind was presented with the Documentary award for their hard-hitting expose on how living through years of violence in Iraq has contributed to a growing mental health crisis among its citizens.
The award for best portrayal of mental health in a soap or continuous series went to The Archers – the first time the accolade has gone to a radio series in the award’s history. The show was praised for its courageous depiction of long-standing character Elizabeth Pargetter’s experience of depression.
In a win for local media, Radio City Talk: Liverpool received the Radio award for the second year running for their Mental Health Monday: Lost Childhoods broadcast – which was recorded live on the steps of St. George’s Hall in Liverpool.
The team behind the show laid out 226 shoes on the steps to represent the number of young people aged 10-19 that take their life each year. The four hour show saw host Mick Coyle speak to parents who have lost children to suicide as well as young people who opened up about their mental health.
The full list of the Bupa Mind Media Award winners:
Drama, sponsored by Carbon Creative
Warp Films, Channel 4
Marverine Cole, Black Girls Don't Cry
BBC Radio 4
News & Current Affairs
Channel 4 news
MQ Open Mind: How can we work together to prevent suicide?
MQ: Transforming Mental Health
Veterans in Crisis
Talking About BPD
Mental Health Monday: Lost Childhoods
Radio City Talk: Liverpool
Soap or continual series
BBC Radio 4
Student Journalist, sponsored by Frances Segelman, Lady Petchey
Fathers on the Edge: Are new dads being failed?
ITV Lorraine’s Shine a Light campaign
Documentary, sponsored by Counselling Directory
Iraq: A State of Mind
BBC Arabic Documentaries
Loose Women's Lighten the Load Hero Award
Speaking Out, sponsored by McVitie’s – David Harewood
Making a Difference, sponsored by PG Tips – Sir Norman Lamb