Mental Health News Media Award

Presented by the Western Australian Association for Mental Health
This award recognises excellence in journalism and reporting on mental health in WA. Nominations for this award are open to a media professional (including freelancers) whose work was effective in contributing to a wider understanding of mental health and explored issues of importance; while also exhibiting best practice journalism and used recovery-oriented language when reporting on sensitive topics around mental health. They have demonstrated a strong understanding of mental health, mental health challenges, the mental health sector and/or the mental health system. 
To nominate now for the 2023 News Media Award, click here

2022 Winner:

Joined Up Films, SBS

Joined Up Films is a factual television production company with a focus on developing, producing and exporting returnable factual television formats. It takes ideas and transforms them into something tangible. In 2021 the 57-minute documentary ‘The Truth About Anxiety With Celia Pacquola’, by Joined Up Films, aired on SBS. It featured comedian Celia Pacquola, who lives with anxiety and depression as she was on a mission to “help uncover the mystery of anxiety and those suffering from it”. Celia travelled the country to meet with a diverse range of people, including AFL footballers, high school students, medical experts and celebrities who open up to Celia about their experiences with this sometimes crippling disorder. But while on this journey, Celia began to question her own relationship with anxiety – something she always thought was manageable. But is she really telling herself the truth? And if not, what is she going to do about it?

Watch the documentary here via SBS.

2022 Finalists:

Greg Hire, founder of A Stitch in Time, for his five-part mental health series on Channel 10 News

Formerly a professional basketball player and four-time championship player for the Perth Wildcats, over the past several years Greg Hire has turned his attention to community work, particularly mental health. In 2014 Greg launched the initiative A Stitch in Time to increase awareness of mental health challenges and provide a platform for individuals to connect. To increase the reach and exposure of his message, in 2021 Greg joined forces with Channel 10 Sports journalist Lachy Reid to produce a series of stories involving popular athletes which aired on Channel 10 News across Mental Health Week. The five-part series featured interviews with then Australian Cricket Team coach Justin Langer, Olympic swimmer Blair Evans and AFL Premiership West Coast Eagles player Chris Masten. Greg took the lead of the series, coordinating the interviews and taking on the role of interviewer, where his background as an athlete helped to create an instant connection with the interviewees and made them feel comfortable to share personal stories of their mental health experiences; while Lachy was on-hand for guidance as needed and to produce and edit the final product.

Rae Fallon, filmmaker of Playgroup WA's short film, 'Mother-Baby-Nurture'

Rae Fallon is a WA freelance film maker who specialises in telling meaningful stories. Rae was nominated for producing the short 23-minute documentary film ‘The Mother-Baby Nurture Story’, which was commissioned by Playgroup WA and premiered in July 2021. The film was created to raise awareness among perinatal service providers, amplify the voice of parents with lived experience, and promote understanding on how to engage families struggling with perinatal mental health challenges after the birth of their baby. Rae effectively managed several challenges during the production process, from working on a tight timeframe of six months and small budget, to always ensuring sensitivity, given the emotional vulnerability of the eight mothers featured and the pressing needs of their babies. Ensuring the women felt safe throughout the process, had agency and were treated with dignity was of the utmost importance to Rae. She shared their stories in a way where they felt no fear of shame or misrepresentation, but reflected the nuance and raw elements without being sensationalised to fit a certain narrative. As well as raising awareness, the film has been – and still is – an effective education too for perinatal mental health services.

Rhiannon Shine, ‘Mental health of teenagers in decline during COVID pandemic’, ABC News

Rhiannon Shine is a WA-based journalist for ABC’s nightly 7.30 program. Rhiannon’s story ‘Survey finds alarming rise in severe emotional distress among WA school students’, highlighted the concerning prevalence of mental health challenges being experienced by teenagers in WA. The story showed balance in reporting by drawing on a study with informative data which was buried in a report to support the claims of alarming mental health issues in young people, and also addressed short comings of the report. Balance was also evident through the interviews conducted, including from people who were involved in the study, representatives from a government agency and opposing political party, as well as a spokesperson from the State School Teachers’ Union – all which demonstrated Rhiannon sought various points of view.

Read the story here via ABC News.