Celebrating stories that break down
stereotypes, engage audiences and
enhance the public’s understanding of
mental health issues.

Established over a decade ago and relaunched in 2019, Headline’s Mental Health Media Awards recognise excellence in media coverage of mental health issues. They reflect the challenges, lived experience and realities of people living with mental ill health

Key dates:

  • Submissions open: 1 September 2020
  • Submissions close: 30 September 2020
  • Shortlist announced: 3 November 2020
  • Awards ceremony: 2 December 2020

What are the Mental Health Media Awards?

  • The Awards recognise excellence in media coverage of mental health issues, celebrating those whose work brings to light challenging stories of mental ill health. With 10 categories, the Awards highlight work from all media platforms across local and national media.
  • The focus is on stories, topics or issues in, about or related to mental ill health. Special categories have been added to recognise the decision makers behind the scenes who facilitate and encourage impactful, inclusive and informed stories.
  • Entries open for The Awards in September this year, with the ceremony taking place in December.

Why enter the Awards?

  • A unique opportunity to be recognised by some of the industry’s top professionals for achieving excellence in your approach to stories of mental ill health, while also being recognised by the mental health community.
  • Only awards in Ireland dedicated to recognising excellence in mental health media
  • Almost 20% of the Irish population were recorded as having a mental health disorder in 2016. These awards recognise the crucial role Irish media plays in encouraging suicide prevention and stigma reduction content.
  • The Awards are diverse and open to entries from professional media anywhere in the Ireland.


The objective of the awards is to give national recognition to published works or broadcasts which:


  • Foster greater public understanding of mental health issues
  • Challenge stereotypes and stigma associated with mental health difficulties with the highest standard of journalism
  • Inform and educate audiences as to the lived experience of people living with mental health difficulties
  • Disclose practices or procedures needing reform so as to encourage the development and modernisation of Ireland’s mental health services

Categories 2020

Headline’s Mental Health Media Awards celebrate work across 10 categories and a wide range of media platforms, highlighting the unique role of journalists, producers and storytellers in making brave editorial decisions while limiting harm to vulnerable audiences.

Submission Process

  • Please read through the Award Entry Rules carefully before applying.
  • Headline will create a longlist based on the work’s adherence to the rules of entry. The judging panel will then decide a short list of 3 entries per category, to be announced in November. All shortlisted nominees will be invited to the awards ceremony in December, where one winner per category will be announced.
  • Entries are judged by our panel of distinguished professionals, each carefully selected from the media and non-profit sectors for their wide-ranging experience and expertise on media and mental health. Please remember to allow sufficient time and attention to providing supporting information where specified in the submission form.

Award Entry Rules

  • Entries will open on 01 September 2020 and remain open for the month of September, closing at midnight on September 30.
  • Only work originally published or broadcast between the period 01 October 2019 to 30 September 2020 will be considered.
  • Headline’s Mental Health Media Awards are open to any professional work broadcast or published in Ireland during the specified time period.
  • Entries may be made by a nominating party/member of the public/colleague or by the author/producer/nominee themselves.
  • The principal occupation of the author(s)/broadcaster(s) of work entered in the respective categories must be one of the following: journalist, broadcaster or producer. They must also ordinarily work in Ireland and/or work for newspapers/news websites published in Ireland or production companies whose work is broadcast in Ireland. Note: Exceptions to this rule are the Headline Impact Award, Special Recognition Award and Student Award categories.
  • All entries must be made via the online entry system. Files must be submitted in .pdf format only and must be less than 10MB in size. For links to online content please include a password for viewing, where required.
  • Personal social media accounts will not be accepted as entries in any category.
  • The volume of nominations will not have an impact on the judges’ decision. A piece of work with 10 nominations will be considered in the same light as a piece with one nomination.
  • Third party nominators may enter only one nominee per category.
  • Entrants for the Student Award must be a current student of a third level course or have graduated since 01 January 2020.
  • All entries related to suicide or self-harm must comply, as far as is possible, with the Samaritans Media Guidelines.
  • Headline receives positive feedback from members of the public on many reports and broadcasts made through the year. Often journalists or producers are unaware of the positive impact a piece can have on audiences who relate to their content. With this in mind, Headline may nominate work for inclusion the various categories.
  • Headline and the Judging Panel may move work to another category if deemed appropriate.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.

About Headline

Headline is Ireland’s national programme for responsible reporting, and representation of mental illness and suicide. Our objective is to work as collaboratively as possible with Irish media professionals across print, broadcast, and online platforms to reduce the effects of suicide contagion, and the stigma attached to mental ill health.