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Mind Media Awards 2017 shortlist released as Fearne Cotton announced as this year’s host

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 Mind

The shortlist for this year’s prestigious Mind Media Awards is revealed today (Tuesday 19 September) and we are also delighted to announce that TV presenter Fearne Cotton will host this year’s event on Monday 13 November 2017 at the ODEON in Leicester Square, London.

This Morning, Cold Feet and Rio Ferdinand’s BBC documentary have all earned nominations on this year’s diverse shortlist. The annual award ceremony celebrates the very best portrayals and reporting of mental health problems across broadcast, print and digital media and film.

Stories from those with personal experience of mental health problems have a strong presence this year, with those nominated including BBC documentary Mind over marathon, Telegraph journalist Bryony Gordon’s Mad World podcast, and TalkSPORT’s On the sporting couch series.

The Soaps and Continual Series category, always hotly contested, sees EastEnders, Hollyoaks, Casualty and Call the Midwife go up against each other.

Fearne Cotton, Mind ambassador said: “I am thrilled to be hosting this year’s Mind Media Awards. This event honours progressive journalists who are truly making a difference to the way that we all think about mental health through their sensitive and responsible reporting. It also celebrates the amazing people who are sharing their personal stories of living with mental health problems so that they might help others.

"I am excited to be following in the footsteps of Stephen Fry, Jo Brand and Freddie Flintoff in hosting this prestigious event. It promises to be a wonderful and heart-warming evening and I can’t wait to see who the winners will be in 2017.”

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “Mental health has received unprecedented attention in the media over the last year. Public figures as diverse as Prince Harry and Stormzy have put mental health on the media agenda like never before. Mind has seen the impact of this coverage, with more people calling our infoline for help and support and more people accessing the services offered by our local Minds.

"We received a record number of entries for this year’s Mind Media Awards. I would like to say thank you to all those who submitted material and to congratulate those who made it to the shortlist. It’s going to be an extremely tough decision for our judges this year.”

The winning entries will be chosen by an expert panel of judges who have personal experience of mental health problems or have produced their own work championing mental health issues in the media.

The Mind Media Awards will be available to watch via a live stream on Monday 13 November. More information about how to tune in will be available at

You can also join the conversation about the Mind Media Awards on Twitter with @MindCharity using #MindAwards.

The full list of nominations is:


sponsored by The England and Wales Cricket Board

Me and My Mental Illness, Channel 5 (Knickerbockerglory TV) 
’Me and My Mental Illness’ features the unflinching stories of seven people living with various mental health problems including depression, bipolar disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Told straight to camera, the stories explore the reasons why mental health problems develop and how they manifest themselves. 

Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad, BBC One 
In May 2015, Rio Ferdinand lost his wife Rebecca to cancer. A year on he is still trying to come to terms with his loss and its effects on himself and his three children. The film follows Rio as he meets other families coping with bereavement and looks at what help is available to parents and children who have experienced loss.

Why Did I Go Mad? Horizon, BBC Two 
Horizon focuses on three people – David, Rachel and Jacqui – living with voices, hallucinations and paranoia. The programmes examines the possible causes as well as the impact of social, biological and environmental influences on conditions such as schizophrenia and psychosis.

Newsround Special – Inside My Head, CBBC 
In this thought-provoking and compelling, contributor-led special we meet Josh, a 14-year-old who loves playing hockey and has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This ground-breaking film tells Josh’s story in his own words, translating the complex issues surrounding children’s mental health problems, in a simple and powerful way.

Mind Over Marathon, BBC One 
In this two-part series, a group of ten unlikely runners living with different mental health problems train for the ultimate test of mind over matter: one of the world’s most famous races – the London Marathon. The series followed the progress of the runners from their first meeting at a training camp, through shorter races then onto the Marathon itself.


sponsored by The Energy Network

School Report, BBC 
BBC School Report is a project which works with 60,000 11-18-year-olds each year, encouraging them to share their views and stories on issues that matter to them. In 2017 the project’s theme is mental health and wellbeing, culminating in a live online programme.

The Things Not To Say, BBC Three (Mentorn Media) 
‘The Things Not To Say’ series for BBC Three offers a platform for young people to share their unique experiences. ‘Things Not To Say To People With Schizophrenia’ and ‘Things Not To Say To People With Bipolar’ sees contributors speak honestly and humorously about the common misconceptions around these diagnoses.

Lorraine, ITV 
Throughout Mental Health Awareness Week, ‘Lorraine’ focused on a different aspect of mental health each day with the aim of giving advice and creating a dialogue.  Viewers were invited to share their personal experiences alongside high profile faces such as Andrea McLean, Debbie McGee and Carol Vorderman.

The One Show, BBC One 
‘Dear Michael, Love Dad’ was a feature on ‘The One Show’ about a book of the same name. It’s a true story of an author’s relationship with his son and how as a family they responded to his experience of depression and anorexia. The One Show championed similar features about mental health throughout the year.  

This Morning, ITV 
ITV ‘This Morning’s’ Be Kind anti-bullying campaign topped 12 months of the most prolific mental health coverage in the programme’s 29-year history. It was the separate appearances by two grieving mothers that helped to shape the direction of the campaign.

News and Current Affairs

BBC News at Six, BBC One 
This year BBC ‘News at Six’ has produced stories regarding mental health stigma, suicide, the perspectives of young people, and the inspirational work being done by professionals to help those who are the most difficult to reach. The BBC’s coverage also sheds light on the impact of mental health problems on family members struggling to help loved ones in crisis.

You and Yours, BBC Radio 4 
‘You and Yours’ has focused on mental health throughout the year, including the effects of changes to the benefits system, the rise of anxiety in young people and how workplaces are responding to stress. 

Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Two & BBC News Channel 
‘Victoria Derbyshire’ has covered dozens of stories about mental health this year including the experiences of James Casling, who recounts how he was sectioned at the age of 18, three years after the suicide of his father. Actor Adam Deacon leads another story, exploring bipolar disorder and looking at the impact of it on his own film career.

5 News, ITN 
A team of journalists pursued a series of investigations throughout the year into different aspects of mental health care, revealing a number of shocking safety failings. The stories were illustrated by candid and sensitive interviews with patients and their families. The team also secured the first, full TV interview with Prince Harry after he revealed he had sought counselling to deal with the grief of his mother’s death.

Newsbeat, BBC Radio 1 
Newsbeat’s role is to make sense of the world for 16-24-year-olds. In the past year, reporters have responded to some challenging subjects including terror, trauma and bereavement. The programme’s interview with a survivor from the Bataclan terror attack is sensitively handled and a documentary about living with acne helps to shine a light on mental health and body image.


My Mind & Me, BBC Radio1, BBC Radio 1Xtra & BBC Asian Network 
‘My Mind & Me’ is a year-long focus on mental health on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network that aims to normalise conversations about mental health. As part of the season, a live simulcast explored specific issues around mental health affecting young Black and Asian audiences.

Child in Mind, SoundCoud & iTunes 
‘Child in Mind’ is a series of expert podcasts, presented by Claudia Hammond, to help parents understand and manage child and family mental health problems. Issues discussed include self-harm and childhood anxiety.  

On the Sporting Couch, TalkSPORT 
‘On the Sporting Couch’ replicates a 50-minute psychotherapy session with elite sportsmen and women. Professional darts player James Wade talks about his experience of bipolar disorder and Olympic medal-winning swimmer Rebecca Adlington discusses how she was trolled about her appearance.     

The Mind in the Media, BBC Radio 4 
A BBC Radio 4 documentary, presented by author and mental health nurse, Nathan Filer. The piece examines how public perceptions of mental health problems and treatment are influenced by portrayals in the media, including films, books, TV, social media, and the news.

Mama Courage, BBC Radio 4 (Sweet Talk Productions) 
In the early stages of postpartum psychosis, realising that something odd was happening, actor, comedian and writer Jessica Pidsley decided to record herself on her phone. Jessica’s recordings together with blogs, texts and emails written during and after her illness – interwoven with her husband Matt Bannister’s experience – form a vivid, detailed and powerful account of what this illness can look like from all sides.


Cold Feet, ITV (Big Talk Productions) 
The acclaimed ITV drama returned after a 13-year hiatus, with Pete’s depression storyline taking centre stage. We see the character Pete, played by John Thomson, struggling financially, losing his zest for life and finding it difficult to confide in loved ones about how he feels. The show highlights how hard men can find it to reach out for support and is loosely based on writer Mike Bullen’s own experience of depression. 

Wide Open Spaces, BBC Radio 4 
BBC Radio 4’s Afternoon Drama, follows Samuel as he tries to get across London to put a teddy on the grave of his daughter on the first year anniversary of her death. But Samuel, played by Paapa Essiedu, has agoraphobia and a tube trip for him is akin to climbing Everest. The drama shines a light on this often misunderstood and complex condition.

This is Us, Channel 4 (Rhode Island Productions / Zaftig Films / 20th Century Fox TV) 
‘This Is Us’ depicts Randall’s long term battle with anxiety and explores how this disorder is often misunderstood by others. It culminates with Randall, played by Emmy winning actor Sterling K. Brown, suffering a severe panic attack.

Soaps or Continual Series

sponsored by Lipsy

Casualty, BBC One 
The long running medical drama follows nurse David Hide as he returns to the Emergency Department after being signed off work because of his bipolar disorder.  We see David struggle with his mental health and his medication.

EastEnders, BBC One 
Danny-Boy Hatchard plays Lee Carter who is being bullied at work, bottling up his feelings of depression and becoming more disconnected from his wife and loved ones. We follow Lee’s story over 18 months as he reaches crisis point and finally gets the help and support he needs.

Hollyoaks, Channel 4 (Lime Pictures) 
Scott Drinkwell, played by Ross Adams, is a prominent LGBT+ character in Hollyoaks, but his flamboyant personality has sometimes led him to be ridiculed by his neighbours and even isolated from some of the LGBT+ community. Years of bullying and feeling that he doesn’t belong both contribute to a suicide attempt, but it’s only when friends and family find Scott’s video diary that everyone realises how Scott is feeling.

Call the Midwife, BBC One (Neal Street Productions) 
The BBC period drama explores what mental health care was like during the 1950s. Sister Mary Cynthia, played by Bryony Hannah, has been experiencing anxiety after being physically attacked. She goes missing and is later found in a mental health institution.


Manchester by the Sea 
Lee Chandler, played by Casey Affleck in an Oscar winning performance, is living with depression and working as a handyman for a Boston apartment block. Following the death of his brother, he is suddenly appointed as guardian to his 16-year-old nephew. His return to the past re-opens an unspeakable tragedy.

I, Daniel Blake 
Carpenter Daniel Blake, played by Dave Johns, is recovering from a heart attack and befriends a single mother and her two children as they navigate their way through the modern benefits system. With equal amounts of humour, warmth and despair, Ken Loach’s film is a journey that is heartfelt and emotional until the end.

The Girl on the Train 
The Girl on the Train, based on the best-selling book by Paula Hawkins, is the story of Rachel Watson's life post-divorce. Rachel, played by actress Emily Blunt, deals with depression and alcoholism and how they can be inextricably linked.    

The animated film is the story of the overly optimistic Trolls, with a constant song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomach. It’s a film about friendship, self-confidence and the meaning of happiness.  

Digital champion

The Mental Podcast, Ian Boldsworth 
After addressing mental health issues in his stand-up tour and in several interviews, Ian created ’The Mental Podcast’. The series deals with deeply personal accounts from Ian regarding his mental health, alongside interviews with friends. 

Talking About BPD and Mental Health, Rosie Cappuccino
Rosie’s blog documents her journey from silence to talking about her diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). She aims to further public understanding of BPD, beyond the many inaccurate stereotypes and expose a need for better funding and better mental health services.

Hello I’m Suicidal, DestinyBlue
Blue is an artist whose deals with her mental health through drawing. Blue decided to draw and write about her experiences to let the world know what it is like to experience suicidal feelings.

I’m Right There in Your Corner, Peter Thompson 
This short film features a poem that encourages men to be more open and supportive around the issue of mental health. It includes footage from Peter’s recent challenge entitled ‘marathons for the mind’ where he successfully ran 44 marathons in 44 countries in 44 consecutive days. The film went viral earlier this year with over 30,000 views.

All Mad Here, Claire Eastham 
Claire started her blog ‘We’re All Mad Here’ in 2013, about her experiences of social anxiety and panic disorder. Her content aims to offer readers the best information and support, whilst maintaining an uplifting tone.


Crusade for Better Mental Health, Sunday Express 
The Sunday Express’s ongoing Crusade for Better Mental Health launched in 2012 and over the past five years has been the catalyst for huge improvements in funding, therapy provision and standards. The Sunday Express aims to create a public debate and to encourage readers to think and talk about mental health in the same way they do physical health. 

Mend the Gap, Men’s Health 
In summer 2016, Men’s Health magazine began their wide-reaching campaign #MendTheGap, calling for a complete overhaul of the way men’s mental health is discussed and treated. Boxer Ricky Hatton backs the campaign which also has a strong focus on reader stories, such as Jake Tyler who set out to walk the length of the UK to raise awareness of depression. 
Over the past year, has published a large series of mental health blogs, written by those who have been affected by mental health problems, from eating disorders, anxiety and depression to emetophobia, fugue state and borderline personality disorde.’s Yvette Caster and Ellen Scott also create a mental health podcast, Mentally Yours, each Monday, which has 30,000 listeners a week. In addition, the website runs a dedicated mental health series called Getting Better, charting Ellen’s journey through treatment.

Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network 
The Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network includes powerful first-hand testimonies from mental health care workers. These candid pieces from frontline staff offer a powerful insight which is not often presented in the mainstream media. It offers them the opportunity to tell peers and the general public about their sometimes heart-rending and often uplifting experiences.

Mind Matters Campaign, Construction News 
The ONS recently reported that low-skilled, male construction workers were at the greatest risk of suicide in the UK, at 3.7 times above the national average. In response, Construction News launched a mental health campaign, called Mind Matters. They encourage leaders in the construction sector to reveal their personal stories, in the hope that others feel more empowered to seek help.


sponsored by BUPA

Catherine Jones, 5 News, ITN 
In the past year, Catherine Jones has pursued a series of stories about failings in the mental health care system and the human cost. Her hard work has resulted in exclusives that reveal the extent of the crisis in NHS and private care.

Bryony Gordon, Telegraph Media Group 
‘Mad World’ is a podcast where Bryony Gordon interviews people with lived experience in an effort to normalise mental health problems. In the first episode she interviews Prince Harry, who talks about the difficulties he faced in the years following his mother’s death. The episode had 4.1 million listens on the Telegraph website alone. She has since interviewed a diverse range of people from mum bloggers speaking about postnatal depression to Will Young discussing his experience of PTSD. 

Mick Coyle, Radio City Talk 
Mick launched ‘Mental Health Monday’ on the ‘Radio City Talk’ news station, a weekly discussion show tackling the stigma around mental health and enabling people to share their stories in an open, honest and non-judgmental way.

Danny Buckland, Sunday Express & The Times (Raconteur) 
Danny Buckland presents a range of pieces which demonstrate how mental health comes in many guises and can affect people from across the social and economic strata.

James Crichton-Smith, ITV Cymru/ Wales 
James has produced several exclusive news stories about mental health for ITV Wales.  His story about ‘Face-down restraint’ features a sensitive and candid interview with a woman with first-hand experience of being restrained when in crisis.

Student Journalist

in memory of Anna Sargent

Robin Brinkworth, Edinburgh University 
In 2016, The Tab released their first ranking of UK University mental health services. The investigation was based on a survey of 12,000 people. The ranking aims to show how mental health problems affect huge numbers of students, and how universities are failing to keep up with the demand.

Anna Johnston, Robert Greene, Ross Miklaszewicz, City University of London 
‘Suicide: What’s going on with men?’ is a short documentary that explores the reasons why suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK and what is being done to prevent male suicide.

Varsity, Cambridge University 
When students at the University of Cambridge ‘intermit’ (taking an authorised absence of their course), it is usually intended to help them overcome serious issues related to physical or mental health. However, a stigma has persisted around this and this piece, 'Investigating Intermissions: Sick students failed by University guidelines', explores some of the issues facing these students.

Layla Wright, University of Liverpool 
'Crisis on Campus' examine the untold story of student mental health and the rising rate of student suicide. Layla looks at the reasons why students are struggling to cope such as homesickness, debt and academic pressure then considers what can be done about it.

Three special awards will also be presented at this year’s Mind Media Awards:

Lighten the Load Hero 
Mind and ITV’s Loose Women have come together to launch The Lighten the Load Hero award. This is a special new award which will celebrate the everyday heroes who support those of us living with mental health problems.

Speaking Out 
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 
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.

Notes to Editors:

  • Follow the Mind Media Awards on Twitter at #MindAwards
  • The Mind Media Awards will be held at the ODEON cinema in Leicester Square, London on 13th November 2017. More information can be found at
  • This year’s Mind Media Awards judging panel are: Claudia Hammond, Victoria Macdonald, Juno Dawson, Jane Merkin, Toby Castle, Bryony Gordon, Eleanor Morgan, Matt Wilkinson, Nicholas Pinnock, Tom Bidwell, Max Pemberton, Denise O’Donoghue, Nihal Arthanayake, Louise Chunn, Rosie Adams, Sean Fletcher, James Ingham, Mandy Stevens and Matt Johnson
  • Mind Media Awards category sponsors include BUPA, The Energy Network, The England and Wales Cricket Board, Lipsy and The Student Journalist award will be presented in memory of Anna Sargent.
  • For more information and interviews please contact E: [email protected] T: 0208 522 1743 M: 07850 788 514 ISDN line available: 020 8221 0817.

About Mind:

  • We’re Mind, the mental health charity. We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. We won't give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both support and respect.
  • Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.
  • Mind has a confidential information and support line, Mind Infoline, available on 0300 123 3393 (lines open 9am - 6pm, Monday – Friday)
  • Please contact the Mind Media Team for interviews or further information on 02085221743. For out of hours support please call 07850788514 or email the media team on [email protected]
  • For access to a range of free images to accompany mental health news stories please visit: These images have been developed by the anti-stigma campaign Time to Change, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund.
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