The annual awards celebrate the best portrayals and reporting of mental health in the media. They honour broadcasters, bloggers and journalists who have made an exceptional contribution to changing attitudes and tackling mental health stigma.
This year’s event at the BFI brought together media professionals, celebrities and people with mental health problems who are making a real difference by speaking out about their experiences.
BBC Three’s intimate selfie-documentary Diaries of a broken mind, was awarded best Factual TV programme. The unusual film comprises self-recorded footage by 25 young people with various mental health problems over six months.
Talented teenager Ellen White claimed the Blogger award for her website where she posts candidly about living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The 15-year old was recognised for providing peer support to other young people going through similar issues. The musings of a teenager were also honoured in the drama category with E4 comedy My Mad Fat Diary, based on the teenage years of writer Rae Earl, beating off the competition.
BBC Radio 1 and 1xtra were presented with the Making a Difference award, sponsored by Havas Worldwide London, for their long-standing commitment to reporting on mental health issues. Over the last five years the youth radio station has been nominated for a record seven Mind Media Awards covering everything from self-harm to male anorexia. Interviews with musicians such as Professor Green and regular phone-ins on The Surgery with Aled and Dr Radha have had a tremendous impact on raising awareness of mental health issues amongst young people.
In an emotional finale to the ceremony, actress Denise Welch presented the Speaking Out award, sponsored by Comic Relief, to a group of parents who had all lost their young adult sons to suicide after they experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Karen Bonsall, Mary Brailsford, Deanna Collins and Richard Ward all featured in the Panorama documentary ‘Broken by Battle’ and are now campaigning to change the way the Government responds to military PTSD.
Helen Lederer said: "The media is hugely influential in shaping people's opinions of mental health, for both good and ill, which is why I'm delighted to host this year's Mind Media Awards. Script writers, journalists and broadcasters play a huge role in challenging myths so we can all better understand the real facts about mental health problems and how they can affect people."
Denise Welch said: "It was such an honour to present the Speaking Out award tonight. As a mother myself, I was deeply moved by watching this heart-breaking film. Karen, Mary, Deanna and Richard shared the raw pain and emotion of their own loss to bring attention to the fact that more British soldiers and veterans took their own lives last year than were killed in action. These inspiring parents have found it in their hearts to turn their grief into action and should be applauded for their bravery.”
Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind said: “This year’s awards have been dominated by the work of generation Z and media consumed by young people. Blogs and vlogs are enabling people with mental health problems to create their own content about their experiences so that they can share this with others and help people feel less alone.
"BBC 3 should be commended for being the first channel to dedicate a whole season of programmes to young people’s mental health including the ground-breaking selfie documentary ‘Diaries of a Broken Mind’ which allowed people to film their experiences in their own words. As new plans are drawn up to move BBC 3 online, we hope that it will continue to be as dedicated to mental health content and that it’s positive reach and impact is not diminished.
"We are beginning to sense some real progress in our journey to change the way society thinks about mental health and much of that is thanks to the dedication of media like Radio 1 and Top Sante magazine and investigative journalists like Andy McNicoll, Michael Buchanan and Jamal Osman. Programme-makers, commissioners and editors are recognising the importance of covering mental health responsibly and respectfully. We congratulate all the winners and nominees tonight who are leading the way.”
The full list of winners at the Mind Media Awards 2014:
Diaries of a broken mind, BBC Three
Using handheld cameras to film themselves over six months, 25 young people with a broad range of conditions challenge preconceptions and reveal what life is really like living with a mental health problem.
My mad fat diary, E4
Comedy drama looking at life from the perspective of funny, music-obsessed Rae, who recently left a psychiatric hospital. Series two starts as Rae has revealed to her friends for the first time that she has mental health problems. We continue to follow her journey through therapy and hear her innermost thoughts through her candid diary writing.
Entertainment – joint winners
Embarrassing Bodies: Live from the clinic, Channel 4
The latest series of Embarrassing Bodies Live featured a weekly segment on mental health including short films which introduce eight case studies each describing a different condition.
Rugby League: State of Mind, Sky Sports 1
Sky Sports highlighted the work of mental health campaign ‘State of Mind’ which arranges for former players with experience of mental health problems to deliver education sessions in clubs. It features interviews with former players including Harry Pinner. The two films aired during the ‘Round of 25’ State of Mind fixtures.
Publication sponsored by Zurich
Top Sante’s entire May issue focussed on mental health with a ‘Let’s Talk’ campaign aimed at breaking down taboos. From personal accounts, celebrity interviews and expert advice, the magazine addressed a range of mental health problems including anxiety and schizophrenia.
All in the mind: 25th anniversary awards, BBC Radio 4
A special edition of the programme to mark its 25th anniversary featured the voices of a range of people with mental health problems highlighting journeys of recovery, friendship and support.
Ian Wilkinson News and Current Affairs Award
Channel 4 News: Life in chains, Somalia’s mentally ill
Jamal Osman investigates the story of a young man who has been chained up by his own family for 17 years for having a mental illness. This report shines a light on the isolated, barely washed and poorly fed people with mental health problems in Somalia.
Ellen White (ellensocdblog.wordpress.com)
Teenager Ellen blogs about her experience of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as well as her own personal campaign to change public attitudes towards OCD.
Journalist sponsored by Bupa
Andy McNicoll, Community Care and Michael Buchanan, BBC News
Andy McNicoll and Michael Buchanan’s joint investigations have highlighted the need for more funding for mental health services. Reports have included the revelation that 1,700 mental health beds had been cut in two years and a huge number of children are being sent miles away from home for care.
Anna Sargent Student Journalist
The editorial team at Roar! News, Kings College London
The team produced an investigative special issue of the student tabloid ROAR! News. It aimed to dispel myths about people with mental health problems, and give students the opportunity to talk about their own experiences.
Speaking Out sponsored by Comic Relief
Karen Bonsall, Mary Brailsford, Deanna Collins and Richard Ward Panorama: Broken by battle, BBC One
Within this powerful documentary, these four parents speak movingly about losing their sons to suicide. They took a petition to Number 10, demanding changes to the way the Government deals with PTSD in the military. They are calling for residential units for PTSD to be reinstated, to ensure army medical notes are passed onto the NHS, to improve checks on veterans’ welfare and to change a culture in which soldiers are afraid to ask for help.
Making a Difference sponsored by Havas Worldwide London
Radio 1 and Radio 1 Xtra
This award goes to Radio 1 and Radio 1 Xtra for consistently bringing mental health to the attention of their audience and the impact they have made on raising awareness and reducing stigma.