Comedian, writer and actress Jo Brand will host this year’s Mind Media Awards, sponsored by Virgin Money Giving on Monday 16 November. The annual awards celebrate the very best portrayals and reporting of mental health across broadcast, print and digital media. Twelve awards will be presented at the event, which takes place at The Troxy theatre, in categories including drama, factual television and journalist of the year.
Jo, who recently hosted Great British Bake Off: extra slice, is known for her alternative stand-up routines and performances in successful comedy shows, including QI and Have I Got News for You. She has spoken candidly about her experience working as a psychiatric nurse for ten years, wrote and starred in the Bafta winning comedy drama Getting on and published a book about a young girl whose mother has mental health problems The More you Ignore me.
Jo Brand says:
“Many featured on this year’s Mind Media Awards shortlist confront the tragedy of suicide through their entries. While a very real issue for many people experiencing mental health problems, suicide has long been a ‘difficult’ issue for the media – often treated insensitively or avoided at any cost. It is fantastic to finally see a list of work which tackles this painful issue with care and aims to encourage anyone experiencing pain and distress to seek help as soon as possible.
“The underlying message from all nominated entries is that it’s ok to ask for help. I am delighted to be hosting the 2015 Mind Media Awards to acknowledge the impact powerful portrayals of mental health issues can have, both in shaping public opinion, and in ensuring people get help when they need it the most.”
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind says:
“I’m delighted Jo will be hosting Mind’s Media Awards as she is one of the UK’s great talents and has been a great ambassador for mental health.
“The media is incredibly powerful in educating and influencing the public about mental health problems and we’re encouraged to see a greater volume and greater depth and quality of media coverage each year. I hope the Mind Media Awards will continue to inspire journalists and broadcasters to continue challenging mental health myths, misinformation and clichés.”
The shortlist for the Mind Media Awards 2015 can be seen here. Winning entries will be chosen by a panel of 14 industry experts who have all produced their own work championing mental health issues.
Joining the judging panel for the first time this year are TV presenter and Daily Mirror columnist Fiona Phillips, TV producer and co-founder of Hat Trick Productions Denise O’Donoghue OBE, Community Care journalist and Mind Media Award 2014 winner Andy McNicoll and Oscar nominated screenwriter and creator of My Mad Fat Diary Tom Bidwell.
Join the conversation on Twitter with @MindCharity using the tag #vmgmindawards