The winners of the All in the Mind Awards 2016 have been announced at a special ceremony in the Wellcome Collection and broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
There were three categories: the Individual Award, which recognises an outstandingly supportive family member, friend, boss or colleague; the Professional Award, which marks the outstanding dedication of a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, nurse, therapist or other professional; and the Project Award, which acknowledges the achievement of a mental health project or group that has made a big difference to people’s recovery or ability to cope.
The judging panel – author Matt Haig, Kevan Jones MP, Marion Janner, founder of Star Wards, clinical psychologist Linda Blair and All in the Mind presenter Claudia Hammond – was inundated with entries from a range of people and backgrounds, but in the end they decided the following stories were most deserving of the awards
Jane was the individual winner. Charlotte, a doctor, nominated her neighbour Jane who helped her cope with the death of her daughter who died in the hospital where Charlotte worked, after a sudden illness. For many people getting back to work can help with bereavement, but as Charlotte’s daughter had died in her workplace being there made matters worse. She was grateful for Jane’s down-to-earth approach, which has helped her cope with grief and depression. For more on this story click here.
Meanwhile the Project Award went to Glasgow’s Common Wheel project, which uses bicycle building as a therapy to help people with a range of mental health issues. By learning to strip, service and rebuild bicycles clients gain a new skill and a sense of achievement. By concentrating on bicycle building they dwell less on their mental health issues. For more, click here.
The Professional category: After spending half his life in prison ‘John’ was helped by his case worker Amy from Turning Point to turn his life around. Initially suspicious of programmes to help ex-offenders ‘John’ tested Amy with a range of measures which he had learnt in the prison system. However, now for the first time in his life he has regular employment and is in control of his own behaviour. For more, click here.
“The awards provided the chance for people to talk at length about their mental health issues, in a way that we don’t often hear,” said Hammond. “We’ve heard from many listeners for whom these stories resonated personally. Reading through the nominations, it was reassuring to hear that in times when many services are stretched, there are still some amazing projects out there. It’s also humbling to see how far people are prepared to go to help to their friends, or employees or even their neighbours.
“It was very hard to choose, and for me the finalists represent everyone who has reached out to help someone else. Mental health professionals present at the awards told me that hearing these experiences reminded them that however hard their job might seem sometimes, they went into it for a reason, and that they can make a difference.”
Other stories that featured in the series included The Tomorrow Project, a community based counselling service set up in a Nottinghamshire village after suicides there among teenagers. Also highlighted was the work of a GP, Dr Dietch, who helped his patient receive appropriate treatment for bipolar disorder, and helped mental health professionals treat her when he was out of the country.
Additionally, there was a boss called Blair with an unusual relationship with her employee, Steven. She doesn't just pay him and supervise him, she has supported him through some of the hardest times in his life. Finally, Ellie nominated her mother Bernardette who has helped her cope with suicide attempts and depression throughout her teenage years.