Headline is delighted to announce the shortlist for this year’s Mental Health Media Awards. We received a huge number of high-quality entries this year, and the competition was tough. Our diverse panel of judges had lively debates while trying to determine the top five for each category. There were many worthy entries which didn’t make it to the shortlist this time, but we see and appreciate the great work you’re doing and hope you’ll consider entering again next year.

This year we introduced a new category called the “Shine Audience Choice Award”. This new category rewards a piece of Irish media (print, online, or broadcast) that has impacted the Irish public and/or shaped the public conversation on mental ill health in Ireland. From beginning to end, this award is based entirely on the voices and opinions of the Irish public: It is the only category where the public chooses the winner. The volume and variety of nominations received are a testament to the increased visibility and representation of mental health we’ve seen in Irish media over the past year. Through the Shine Audience Choice Award, we look forward to rewarding the mental health media shaping public conversations in the coming years.

Diversity of experience and authentic representation is a vital proponent of these awards. Our 2019 representation analysis showed the vast majority of stories related to severe mental health conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia were in relation to court cases or violent crime. Our 2020 research highlighted just 2% of stories about severe mental health conditions included the perspective of people living with these experiences – this has to change.

Headline continues to recognise and support Irish media professionals as they do the important and challenging work involved in creating awareness and reducing stigma in mental health reporting. The MHMAs are a key part of this effort. Encouraging excellence in reporting standards and reducing stigma around the representation of mental ill health in the media is key to improving mental health literacy.

Click the link below to view this year’s shortlist.