Monday 13 November marked a special occasion in our calendars, as hundreds of people championing mental health flocked to the Odeon in Leicester Square to celebrate the Mind Media Awards.
With Mind ambassador Fearne Cotton hosting proceedings, and an array of wonderful representatives of the charity and mental health advocates presenting awards throughout the night, including HRH Prince Harry, it was an evening exuding warmth, inspiration and overwhelming positivity.
Mind’s President, Stephen Fry, opened the show commenting on 2017 being a watershed year for mental health. He recognised that the room was filled with people “speaking out to bring about the long overdue change for which we all yearn”. However, he did remark on how there’s still “a long way to go”. Stephen said, “There are still far, far too many people who die from suicide. This week alone by Friday, 100 people will have taken their own life in the United Kingdom.”
He continued, “We have so much more to do, mental health is a rewarding subject, it speaks volume about our culture, our society and what it is to be human.”
One such person who’s done some outstanding work in bringing the conversation forward, is Prince Harry, along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in their campaign Heads Together. In his speech, Prince Harry said: “At the beginning of the year, William, Catherine and I believed that we were on the cusp of something special and noticed that after years of hard work everyone was ready to start talking about mental health.”
Not only has the Prince spoken out about his own personal mental health problems, but together they have supported and encouraged others with Heads Together sponsoring the London Marathon in 2017, and their special project Mind Over Marathon, which was highlighted on the night by winning the Speaking Out Award.
Our sister company Counselling Directory sponsored the Digital Champion Award, and we were thrilled to meet some of the nominees ahead of the evening event. The category recognised individuals who have put passion and their own experience into raising awareness and understanding of mental health, utilising technology to have their messages ripple around the globe.
The truly inspirational nominees included Claire Eastham, whose blog All Mad Here shares her personal experience with society anxiety and panic disorder, all in her engaging and uplifting tone. There was also DestinyBlue who uses art to express her mental health, particularly suicidal feelings, and Peter Thompson who ran 44 marathons in 44 countries in 44 days in aid of mental health. Rosie Cappuccino blogs about Borderline Personality Disorder to increase public understanding of the condition, and Ian Boldsworth founded The Mental Podcast, where he shares personal experiences and discusses mental health with friends. All the nominees are fantastic people who have helped so many others through their activities. The Digital Champion Award winner was Ian Boldsworth, who humbly said: I have been nominated for awards before, but I have never won one. I would cut the award and share it with the other nominees, because I don’t want them to be disappointed about this”
And indeed no one should be disappointed not to win when every person is making such a big difference to breaking down the stigma around mental health. With so many outstanding nominees, the judges certainly had a tough decision on their hands for every category. Every person nominated has shown the impact that can be made in starting conversations on mental health, supporting each other, and raising awareness and understanding, and how this can truly change lives. While every person who’s contributed to this fantastic movement is a deserved winner, those who walked away with the awards on the night were:
To find out more about Mind and the incredible work they do, head to www.mind.org.uk