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

Established over a decade ago and relaunching 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: 9 September 2019
  • Submissions close: 7 October 2019
  • Shortlist announced: 4 November 2019
  • Awards ceremony: 4 December 2019

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.
  • 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 recovery from mental ill health.


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

2019 Shortlist

Mental Health Journalism | National Print/Online

For a single print or online news report or feature, published in a national news outlet, that deals with stories, topics or issues in, about or related to mental ill health.

  • ‘Why it’s not always ‘good to talk’…’, Stella O’Malley for The Irish Independent
  • ‘Pregnancy is when mental health can be most at risk’, June Shannon for The Irish Times
  • ‘‘You’ve got everything now, you should be fine’: How youth workers are helping LGBTI+ people post-marriage referendum’, Orla Ryan for TheJournal.ie

Mental Health Journalism | Local Print/Online

For a single print or online news report or feature, published in a regional or local news outlet, that deals with stories, topics or issues in, about or related to mental ill health.

  • ‘What is happening to our young people?’, Emma Connolly for The Southern Star
  • ‘I hid it so well. No one knew’, Carol Byrne for The Clare Champion
  • ‘Permanent base for Limerick Crisis Response Team’, Nicole Glennon for Limerick Post

Mental Health Broadcasting | One-off Documentary

For a single factual television or radio feature/ documentary related to mental ill health.

  • ‘My Other Life: Ireland’s Young and Their Mental Health’, Edvinas Maciulevicius for RTÉ 2
  • ‘Documentary On One: The Yellow Line’, Ronan Kelly for RTÉ Radio 1
  • Documentary On One: The Undetectables’, Mary-Elaine Tynan and Nicoline Greer for RTÉ Radio 1

Mental Health Broadcasting | Current Affairs Programme

For a factual journalistic or magazine programme broadcast on television or radio, either standalone or one episode from a series, that deals with current stories, topics or issues in, about or related to mental ill health.

  • ‘Alan Quinlan opens up about his mental health’, Newstalk Breakfast on Newstalk
  • ‘Living with Depression’, Lunchtime Live on Newstalk
  • ‘Katie Hannon on Suicide’, Liveline on RTÉ Radio 1

Mental Health Content | Special Interest

For a feature article (550 words or longer) published in print or online that deals with stories, topics or issues in, about or related to mental health. This may include specialist features such as sport, music, food and health and may be published across any platform, including newspaper supplements or magazines.

  • ‘PND: ‘This new baby, with a head of blonde hair, was perfect. I was not’, Geraldine Walsh, for The Irish Times
  • ‘A one-time world champion Irish prodigy’s descent into hell and back’, Paul Fennessy for The42.ie
  • ‘Light At The End Of the Tunnel’, Margaret Hawkins for Irish Farmers Journal, Irish Country Living supplement

Mental Health Content | Online

For websites, podcasts, interactive online features, apps, interactive documentaries and other digital technologies that use creative and innovative techniques and content to extend knowledge and understanding of, and engagement with, mental ill health.

  • ‘Where There’s a Will’, A Lust for Life Podcast
  • ‘I lost two sons to suicide – I want people to know it’s okay to have problems’, Michelle Hennessy for TheJournal.ie Podcast
  • ‘Are we stressing our children out?’, Dr. Malie Coyne for RTE Brainstorm

Headline Voice Media Award in partnership with See Change

For a publisher, in print or online, or broadcaster who has demonstrated excellence in the quality and quantity of coverage given to people with self-experience of mental ill health.

  • The Irish Times
  • TheJournal.ie
  • Newstalk for Lunchtime Live

Headline Impact Award

For a broadcaster, publisher or individual working in any platform who has made an exceptional contribution to the national conversation around mental ill health.

  • The Blindboy Podcast
  • Newstalk for Lunchtime Live
  • TheJournal.ie

Headline Student Journalist Award

For a piece of media, including radio, digital or print, made by a student as part of a journalism or media course at a university or third level institute that deals with stories, topics or issues in, about or related to the mental health.

  • In Pursuit of Treatment and Identity, Sam Cox of Trinity College Dublin
  • The Watchers Who Show a Way Out of the Darkness, Nicole Glennon of University Limerick
  • Hand in Hand, Jesse Melia of Technological University Dublin

Special Recognition

FFor a non-media professional who has made a valuable contribution to mental content.

  • Jess McCaul for Inpatient Treatment article featured on ALustForLife.com
  • Blessing Dada for Why I advocate for mental health among minorities article featured on SpunOut.ie
  • Meggan O’Reilly for The Happy Plug Podcast

How to submit

  • Read through the Award Entry Rules carefully before applying.  
  • Nominations may be made by members of the public or audience, colleagues or the media professional themselves.
  • 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.

Award Entry Rules

  • Entries will open in September 2019.
  • Only work originally published or broadcast between the period 1 January 2018 to 30 September 2019 will be considered.
  • Headline’s Mental Health Media Awards are open to any professional work broadcast or published in Ireland in print, website, online, mobile, video, audio or any other content delivery format.
  • Entries may be made by a nominating party/ member of the public/ colleague or 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, with the exception of entries to the Impact Award, Vision Award and Student Awards. 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.
  • All entries must be made via the online entry system. Please note that the system can only accept files less than 10MB in size and limited to the following file types: jpg, jpeg, pdf, doc, docx. For links to streaming sites please include a password for viewing, if necessary.
  • 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 only enter one nominee per category.
  • Entrants for the Impact Award and Voice Award should include links to work that would support their entry.
  • Entrants for the Headline Student Awards must be a current student of a third level course or have graduated since 01 January 2018.
  • 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 Judging Panel can move work to another category if 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.