Today wins double at Mental Health Media Awards

BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme has picked up two prizes at the Mental Health Media Awards.

The awards, held last night at Bafta in London, are organised by the charity Mental Health Media and highlight the role of the media in combating stereotypes around mental health.

The Today programme was crowned top in the TV & radio news category for its investigation Our Care Homes.

It also picked up an award on behalf of an interviewee – Congolese mother Zawadi Mongane who was subject to kidnap and rape, and who witnessed two of her children killed in front of her and her brother decapitated with a machete after he refused to obey a command to rape her.

Mike Thompson interviewed her for the Today programme earlier this year, and her story has won an award for her bravery in coming forward and talking to the media.

The Guardian’s Society supplement won the print category for Fit for Purpose and Century films won best TV documentary for Forgotten Heroes: The Not Dead which it produced for Channel 4.

Maggie Gibbons, chief executive of Mental Health Media, said: ‘It feels like we’re turning a bit of a corner when it comes to the portrayal and discussion of mental health issues in the media.

“There’s so much more awareness of mental distress, and a growing acknowledgement that it touches the lives of millions of people.

‘We need to continue to build on this groundswell and encourage still further accurate and appropriate coverage of mental health issues.”

Judges for the awards included former head of factual programming for the BBC Jane Drabble and David Lloyd, a professor of TV journalism.

The awards were presented by Ruby Wax, who has talked openly in the past about her battle with depression.

She said: ‘The Mental Health Media Awards shine a light on the important role and impact the media has around the portrayal and reporting of mental health issues.

‘I know from my own experience that the way other people talk about mental health issues can lead to stigma and discrimination.

“These awards show there is a way for journalists, writers, directors and producers to cover mental health in a positive and accurate way”.

The full list of winners


Fit for Purpose (Society Guardian)

TV & Radio News

The Today Programme: Investigating Our Care Homes (BBC Radio 4)

TV Documentary

Forgotten Heroes: The Not Dead (Century Films for Channel 4)

Factual Radio

Tales From The Flip Side (BBC Radio Scotland)

Raising Public Awareness

Sport Relief: Surviving Suicide (BBC One)

Single & Serial TV Drama

Stuart: A Life Backwards (Neal Street Productions: BBC Wales for BBC Two)

Soaps & Continual Drama

Hollyoaks: Hannah’s battle with anorexia (Lime Pictures for Channel 4)

Radio Drama

Woman’s Hour Serial: Gifted (Crosslab Productions Ltd for BBC Radio 4)

Young People’s Media

Born Survivors: Cut Up Kids (BBC Three)

Speaking Out

Cliff Holland (Forgotten Heroes: The Not Dead)

Making A Difference

Ethel Bourne, Sue Bourne and Holly Bourne Starecka (Mum and Me: Wellpark Productions for BBC One)


Zawadi Mongane (Today programme, BBC R4)

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