24 hours in A&E, the Sunday Mirror and Channel 4 News were among those taking home honours at tonight’s Mind Media Awards, sponsored by Virgin Money Giving. The annual event, hosted by Jo Brand, honours the best portrayals and reporting of mental health in the media.
Celebrity guests including Frankie Bridge, Matt Johnson and Gail Porter celebrated broadcasters, bloggers and journalists who have, through strong, honest and well-crafted work, made a contribution to changing attitudes and tackling mental health stigma.
Since I last stood up to talk about my experiences at the Mind Media Awards in 2012 a lot has happened.
Frankie Bridge, Mind ambassador
Channel 4’s Cyberbully, starring Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams, picked up the gong for Drama. The programme, based on real events, highlighted the damaging and sometimes life threatening consequences of online bullying. Welsh language soap Pobol y Cwm beat soap heavy weights Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Holby City and Hollyoaks to take home the best soap award for a storyline focussing on the debilitating impact of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
The power of local media was highlighted as Plymouth Herald journalist Sam Blackledge scooped up the Journalist of the Year award for his Safer Spaces campaign which highlighted the issue of people with mental health problems being detained in police cells. BBC Somerset also saw off competition from national radio rivals taking home the Radio award for their stellar two-hour programme ‘Why is it so hard to talk about suicide’.
Host Jo Brand said: “This year’s winners have all, by producing strong, impactful and genuine work, done a great deal to support Mind in helping to change attitudes about mental health problems.
“It was inspirational to see and hear the experiences of individuals who are campaigning for change, as well as those who are opening up about their own lives in a bid to help others. I hope the media will continue to strive to improve how it reports and depicts the real stories of mental health.”
Suicide was a prominent theme across many categories, and the Factual TV award was picked up by BBC documentary Life after Suicide. Angela Samata, who made the film about her personal experience of losing her husband, was presented with the award from Downton Abbey actor David Robb, who was interviewed as part of the documentary.
I’d like to extend my congratulations to all of tonight’s winners and all of the nominees who have done tremendous work over the last year to raise the profile of mental health.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind
The blogger award went to 25 year old Laura Nuttall for her engaging and honest blog Lozmagoz. Laura’s blog talks candidly about her experiences and reaches out to other young people with mental health problems.
There were joint winners in the entertainment category, Scottish magazine programme the Riverside Show and Channel 4’s 24 hours in A&E. The Riverside Show’s mental health week shone a spotlight on the isolation faced by people in Glasgow with a range of mental health problems while 24 hours in A&E focussed on the story of Felix, who experiences depression and had self-harmed, and his consultant Malcom who responds in an understanding and supportive way.
In an emotional finale singer and Mind ambassador Frankie Bridge presented the Speaking Out award, sponsored by Comic Relief, to 19-year-old Emily Francis. Emily’s campaign featured on ITV Central and saw her call for better access to mental health services for young people. She shares her experience of depression and being taken more than 80 miles away from home because there were no beds at local mental health wards.
The Making a Difference award was presented to Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn. The #FindMike social media campaign made headlines, and touched the hearts of people all over the world, as Jonny searched for the Good Samaritan, ‘Mike’, who talked him out of taking his own life.
It’s great that Virgin Money Giving can support the Mind Media Awards to celebrate the fantastic work nominees have produced to help improve perceptions of mental health through the media.
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group
Frankie Bridge said: “Since I last stood up to talk about my experiences at the Mind Media Awards in 2012 a lot has happened. I appeared on Strictly, married my partner, Wayne and most important of all, became a mum to two beautiful sons Parker and Carter. In the past, I have been treated for depression, including spending time in hospital and I was particularly concerned that I might suffer from post-natal depression. I’m glad to say that I didn’t but I hope I would have been much better, after my former experience, at recognising the signs of depression, talking about things openly with loved ones and asking for help.
“That to me is the power of ‘Speaking Out’. It makes others realise they are not alone, and sends an important message that there is no shame in asking for help.”
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind said: “I’d like to extend my congratulations to all of tonight’s winners and all of the nominees who have done tremendous work over the last year to raise the profile of mental health.
“From journalists who shone the spotlight on injustice to the publications and programmes which dedicated space to tell authentic mental health stories. Not to mention the many people who bravely shared their mental health stories on screen, over the airwaves, though vlogs, blogs and social media.
“There has been a huge amount of progress made in our aim to change the way society thinks, and talks, about mental health – and much of that is thanks to people working in and around the media, giving voices to people with mental health problems.”
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, said: “Congratulations to all of tonight’s winners and nominees. The work Mind does with the media to raise awareness and understanding of mental health problems is really important.
“I’m proud of the partnership Virgin Money Giving has with Mind, and how we’ve helped raise £6 million over the last six years to support its work. It’s great that Virgin Money Giving can support the Mind Media Awards to celebrate the fantastic work nominees have produced to help improve perceptions of mental health through the media.”
The full list of winners:
- Factual Television, Life After Suicide - BBC One
- Drama, Cyberbully - Channel 4
- Entertainment, Riverside Show - STV & 24 hours in A&E - Channel 4
- Soaps & Continuing Series sponsored by Luke Kendal in memory of Heather Coates, Pobol y Cwm - S4C
- Publication, Time to Change Campaign - Sunday Mirror
- Radio, Why is it so hard to talk about Suicide? - BBC Radio Somerset
- News and Current Affairs sponsored by Combat Stress, Channel 4 News
- Blogger, Lozzamogz - https://www.youtube.com/user/Lozzamogz?feature=guide
- Journalist sponsored by Bupa, Sam Blackledge - Plymouth Herald
- Student Journalist sponsored by Anna Sargent Family Trust, 'Self Harm' - Ben Stupples (City University London)
- Making a Difference, Find Mike campaign - Jonny Benjamin & Neil Laybourn
- Speaking Out sponsored by Comic Relief, Emily Francis - 'Emily's Campaign' ITV News Central