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Today Mind announces the shortlist for this year’s Mind Media Awards sponsored by Friends Life. Included are a diverse collection of acclaimed entries, from the Homeland series featuring Claire Danes, to Piers Morgan’s Life Stories for ITV and Sky Sports’ coverage of depression in rugby State of Mind. The high standard and breadth of media outlets represented in the list reflects a welcome increase in mental health portrayal and reporting across the industry.
The issue of men’s mental health undoubtedly dominates the shortlist, with outstanding entries including Freddie Flintoff’s documentary Hidden Side of Sport, in-depth discussion on Five Live’s Men’s Hour, Iain Dale’s emotive debates on LBC radio as well as ITV documentary The Trouble with Men.
The awards ceremony, to be hosted by Stephen Fry at the British Film Institute on Monday 19 November, celebrates the best portrayals of mental distress and reporting of mental health issues in the media. Stephen has long led by example in speaking openly about his own experience of bipolar disorder, famously in BBC2 documentary The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive and many times over in media interviews since. His dedication to speaking openly is apparent in his daily Twitter dialogue – inspiring his millions of followers and in turn helping to stamp out the stigma which still surrounds mental health. Stephen was appointed President of Mind in 2011.
Stephen Fry said:
As Mind’s President I’m thrilled to be hosting this year’s Mind Media Awards. The media, in all its glorious incarnations, has enormous power to influence people’s perceptions of mental health, not least in being able to challenge the stigma that sadly still surrounds it.
The Mind Media Awards is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate those actors, writers, programme makers, journalists and bloggers who are helping to dispel the myths around mental health and reduce discrimination.
The nomination categories are:
The Mark Hanson digital media award
News and current affairs
Journalist of the year
Student journalist of the year
Making a difference
The full list of nominations are:
We Need To Talk About Dad (Channel 4)
The powerful story of a family coming to terms with their father’s unexplained psychotic episode and the physical and emotional aftermath that followed.
Art for Heroes: A Culture Show Special (BBC 2)
An exploration of the role art therapy can play in the rehabilitation of ex-servicemen experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The Trouble with Men: Tonight (ITV1)
Revealing insight into the rarely discussed issues surrounding men’s mental health. Sensitive first hand accounts from men with personal experience, including former England rugby player Duncan Bell.
Britain’s Biggest Hoarders (BBC 1)
Presenter Jasmine Harman follows her mother, Vasoulla, and two others who all experience hoarding. A look at the strain hoarding can put on a whole family.
Freddie Flintoff: Hidden Side of Sport (BBC 1)
Cricket star Freddie Flintoff talks to Steve Harmison, Vinnie Jones, Ricky Hatton and other sporting heroes about the serious effects of depression. He confronts his own issues as England captain and the stigma attached to talking openly about depression.
This is England ’88 (Channel 4)
In this incredibly challenging storyline we see Lol, played by actress Vicky McClure, reach out for help after a number of traumatic incidences, experienced over many years, take a toll on her mental health.
Top Boy (Channel 4)
Against the backdrop of East London drug and gang culture, a single mother is hospitalised with depression, leaving her son to fend for himself. A heartening tale of recovery and the wide-reaching impact of mental health problems.
Homeland (Channel 4)
Claire Danes plays Carrie Mathison, a CIA officer who has bipolar disorder. Through the series she struggles to hide her condition, fearful she’ll lose her job if her mental health diagnosis is discovered.
Appropriate Adult (ITV1)
A two-part drama following Janet Leach, played by Emily Watson, and the emotional and mental distress caused to her family as she takes on the role of Appropriate Adult for Fred West. We see her partner experience the deterioration of his mental health and start to experience symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Waterloo Road (BBC 1)
The stress of exams leads school boy Josh to stop taking the medication he needs to manage his schizophrenia. He experiences episodes of psychosis and in this episode is taken to hospital.
Julia George (BBC Radio Kent)
Julia covers a range of emotionally charged issues, including depression and suicide, with sensitivity and compassion. Callers are encouraged to share their experiences, inspiring the many listeners to the morning show.
Men’s Hour (BBC Radio 5 Live)
Tim Samuels routinely champions, and normalises, real male candour and new thinking around mental health, through the pioneering men's magazine show.
Piers Morgan’s Life Stories (ITV)
Piers Morgan's primetime biographical chat show invites celebrity guests to share their life experiences. Frank Bruno, Rolf Harris, Peter Andre and Paul Gascoigne have all spoken openly about their own mental health problems, prompted by Piers careful questioning.
Sky Sports Rugby League State of Mind (Sky Sports 1)
This piece sat at the centre of Sky Sports’ coverage of the pioneering campaign State of Mind, to raise awareness and challenge stigma around mental health problems in rugby, in the lead up to live Super League games.
Gok’s Teens: The Naked Truth (Channel 4)
Gok Wan inspires the nation's teens, starting conversations around mental health issues. He frequently draws on his own experiences as a teenager to help give the next generation confidence and self-belief.
Eastenders (BBC 1)
Having his wedding called off is the last in a string of stressful incidences for Ian Beale, leading him to experience a mental health crisis and leave Walford and his family behind.
Having long enjoyed his position as head of the family, Zak Dingle finds it incredibly hard to accept his diagnosis of depression. He battles feelings of weakness and tries to hide his experiences from his family.
Pobol Y Cwm (S4C)
After being raped by a former friend, Macs’ experiences the mental and emotional effects of the attack, before finally seeking support from his father.
An online community for anyone experiencing mental distress. It's a 'safe' place to express feelings using graffiti-style "bricks", take part in live therapy sessions and discussions, or simply post experiences and questions in a non-judgemental environment.
Ilona Burton Blog
Through this blog Ilona Burton speaks with great honesty and openness about her own experiences of mental health problems and eating disorders, as well as reviewing media portrayal of related issues.
Johnjusthuman Video Blog
A series of frank videos talking openly about schizophrenia, suicide and the stigma that surrounds mental health problems.
Fathers Reaching Out Website
A sensitive resource for the husbands of women experiencing post natal depression.
Mental Health Cop Blog
A useful resource accessed by both police officers and service users, clearly explaining the legal processes, police procedures and human and civil rights associated with mental health problems.
BBC Look East: Combat Stress (BBC 1)
A look at the psychological impact of fighting on the frontline, including an in depth interview with Paratrooper Peter Doolan, who experienced PTSD after he returned from the Iraq war.
Channel 4 News: Antipsychotic Drugs for Kids (Channel 4)
An investigation into how health professionals are treating children with behavioural problems. It uncovered a dramatic rise in the use of powerful anti-psychotic drugs, and a shocking absence of monitoring.
Iain Dale: Mental Health & The Work Capability Assessment (LBC 97.3)
A look at the effects of the Work Capability Assessment to people with mental health problems, with calls from listeners detailing their experiences.
Newsbeat: Male Anorexia (BBC Radio 1)
A look at the 66% increase in NHS hospital admissions for male eating disorders, including interviews with case studies and GPs. The piece highlights the need to understand that eating disorders are not just a female issue.
ITV News: The Forgotten Fallen (ITV1)
Geraint Vincent’s series investigated the issues faced by serving and veteran soldiers and their families, in overcoming stress, PTSD and mental health issues.
Henry’s Demons (BBC Radio 4)
Henry tells his story of schizophrenia and his experience of hearing voices that urged him to swim across Newhaven Estuary. His account is intercut with those of his mother, and father who is war correspondent Patrick Cockburn.
Iain Dale: Mental Health Special Programmes (LBC 97.3 Radio)
Iain Dale frequently discusses mental health on his show – clips include a phone-in about mental health discrimination with Diane Abbott, an interview with Alastair Campbell about his eBook The Happy Depressive, and emotional calls from listeners in reaction to Gary Speed’s death.
Mental Health in Prison (Radio Wanno in HMP Wandsworth)
Created by a prisoner for his community, this programme focuses on mental health, stress disorders and the emotional impact of prison - providing first hand prisoner testimony, professional guidance and helpful signposting.
Poetry and PTSD (BBC Radio 5 Live)
Tim Samuels reveals the inspiring, uneasy and unexpected story of poetry as a form of therapy for soldiers experiencing PTSD after returning from war.
Ramblings/Walkings around England (BBC Radio 4)
Clare Balding walks and talks with Stuart Jessup who has depression. He and his wife, Kate, discuss openly the impact his depression has had on both of their lives, and describe how the simple act of walking can help.
Emma Woolf (The Times)
Charting her personal journey to overcome anorexia, Emma Wolfe has written openly and honestly about the daily challenges and triumphs she has faced week in-week out, through her column in The Times since 2010.
Julia George (BBC Radio Kent)
Julia’s morning show regularly focuses on mental health issues, uncovering the real life concerns faced by many who listen across the county. The audience have shared their experiences of depression, suicide, body image and addiction through calls, emails, texts and tweets, motivated by Julia’s sensitive approach.
Patrick Strudwick (Freelance, The Times, The Independent)
Patrick Strudwick has been dedicated in following a two-year professional conduct case against a gay 'cure' therapist and reported expertly on its conclusion. Furthermore, he has written widely about mental health issues from bipolar disorder, bulimia and body dysmorphia to post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.
Tim Samuels, Men’s Hour (BBC Radio 5 Live)
Men’s Hour was the brainchild of Tim and once it hit the airwaves, he has used his position to tackle mental health issues with passion, creativity and impact. He has also shone a candid light on a range of issues from art therapy to depression and PTSD.
Lucy Johnston and Ted Jeory (Sunday Express)
Since launching the Sunday Express Crusade for Better Mental Health, Lucy and Ted have featured weekly pieces on what many regard as Britain’s biggest taboo. They have created public debate to encourage readers in thinking and talking about mental health in the same way as physical health.
Student Journalist of the Year
Ashley Hammer (London College of Communications)
For her final year project, Ashley recorded the intimate story of a mother and her son who regularly self harms. An incredibly personal portrayal which gets to the heart of the issues involved.
Ed Tarlton (Nottingham University)
Ed’s personal account of life as a student with depression resonates with many at university. Insightful and impactful.
Oliver Perkins-Gibbons (University of Lincoln)
In investigating the issue of student suicide, Oliver’s passion led him to use the Freedom of Information Act, to obtain the figures for students attempting suicide and those who had taken their own lives, in every English university. His incredible investigation is documented through this film.
Victoria Aitchison (London College of Fashion)
As a final year fashion student experiencing mental health problems, Victoria produced a digital magazine for her final project. She had a breakdown in 2008 and has written about her own experiences hoping it changes the way young people view mental health.
Speaking Out, sponsored by Comic Relief
Presented to an individual who has experienced mental health problems, for their inspirational contribution to at least one of the shortlisted entries.
Making a Difference, sponsored by Euro RSCG London
Presented to a broadcaster or individual whose innovative and sensitive work on mental health problems has made a genuine impact. The award is for those who set the agenda and initiate change.
Mental health in the media