2015 Headline Award for Student Journalism relating to Suicide or Mental Health

To listen to the winning entry Listen Here
Carl O’Brien Chief reporter with the Irish Times had the following comments on the shortlisted entries.
Fiachra Mc Kermott UL Winner of the 2015 award.
“Midleton: hope springs eternal for the former suicide capital of Ireland”.
This is a powerful documentary which explores how a single town has been devastated by suicide – and how access to support is offering new hope. By weaving interviews with those bereaved by suicide, counsellors and other sources of support together, it offers an inspiring story of recovery. The reality is not sugar-coated — the area still has a suicide problem — but the slow process of work on the ground appears to bearing fruit and successful awareness programmes aimed at families and friends appear to offer the glimpse of a new future for the area.
Grainne Loughran, UCD
‘Debunking the myths: why stigma againsts mental health still exists in Ireland”.
Good journalism in the area of mental health helps to demystify issues and debunk stereotypes. This article does both. In doing do, it explores how stigma affects individuals and the wider health system, and  asks searching questions about how the obstacles to recovery in a system dogged with delays, understaffing and two-tier access to treatment.  The inclusion of contact numbers for support organisations at the end of the article is also good practice.
Robbie Byrne, UCC
This is an engaging, revealing and strong interview which sheds light on the anguish caused by mental health problems, but also provides a powerful story of recovery. Bressie’s personal and professional background  are interwoven well. Taking a “celebrity interview” to explore mental health is a powerful way of informing and educating the wider population – and this was certainly the case in this article.
Alicia Lloyd, TCD.
“Tackling a different foe”
This is an informative article on an often neglected and under-studied aspect of mental health: sport. It highlights both the pressure that comes in a world where “letting people down is never an option”, and the support that comes from strong personal bonds with teammates. There are good quotes from experts, insights into new initiatives in this area, and strong personal testimony: a commendable piece of journalism.
Lisa Redmond NUIM
“Suicide prevention: a new approach.”
This is a good exploration of the various different approaches to suicide prevention, such as cognitive behaviour therapy to newer methods harnessing the power of technology and psychology. It might have benefited from a slower pace – at times it felt a little rushed –  and the identify of some contributors felt unclear at times, but there was a good variety of voices. Suicide prevention approaches tend not to get the coverage they merit in the media, often because they lack drama. But this is a timely and important contribution to the vital area of mental health promotion.
The shortlist for the awards are as follows in no particular order:

  • Robbie Byrne UCC: Bressie: Facing the Blizzard Print article
  • Lisa Redmond NUIM: Suicide prevention a new approach Radio Documentary
  • Grainne Loughran UCD: Debunking the myths: Why stigma against mental health still exists in Ireland Print article
  • Alicia Lloyd TCD: Tackling a different foePrint article
  • Fiachra Mc Kermott UL: Middleton – Hope springs eternal for the former suicide capital of IrelandRadio Documentary

The winner will be announced shortly.
The awards are Judged by Carl O’Brien Chief Reporter with the Irish Times. The prize is an iPad mini.
Entries can cover any aspect of mental health or suicide prevention.  All forms of media will be considered; written, (published or unpublished) broadcasted on television, radio, internet, blogs or otherwise.
Award Criteria:
Coverage must adhere to the various media guidelines for reporting on suicide and mental health issues.
Media guidelines available atwww.Headline.ie/multimedia-resource
Positive coverage of suicide and mental health issues can and should

  • Be informative, accurate and encourage public understanding of mental health or suicide
  • Promote positive mental health.
  • Encourage people who may be experiencing difficulties to seek the help that they need
  • Provide information on sources of support at local and national level
  • Prompt discussion of mental health and suicide related issues
  • Challenge the stigma that surrounds mental health challenges and suicide
  • Ensure accuracy by providing expert advice or feature someone with self- experience of a mental health problem or suicide related issues Submission Guidelines

Entries must be submitted by post to the Headline office by Friday 3rd April 2015 to:
Awards, Jane Arigho Headline 38 Blessington Street, Dublin 7.
See Headline.ie/awards for the full list of submission guidelines – any recordings must be saved as MP3

  • Only one piece of work needs to be submitted, however multiple entries will be accepted.
  • Online writing should be printed out and the URL where the piece originally appeared written at the top of the page.
  • Radio Entries are accepted on CD only as MP3.
  • TV or animation entries must be on DVD (VHS entries will not be viewed). No other formats will be accepted.

Shortlisted entries will be asked to give written consent to have the winning entry posted on websites or published.  You must have the permission of the people interviewed for publication
For Queries Contact
Jane Arigho | 01 8601549