Source : Fennell Photography

Journal Media wins two Headline Awards for excellence in mental health journalism

Journalists from The Journal and crowdfunded-investigative platform Northworthy won awards recognising their work covering mental health issues.

By The Journal team

JOURNAL MEDIA WON in two categories yesterday at Headline’s Mental Health Media Awards.

The Headline Awards recognise excellence in media coverage of mental health issues. They reflect the challenges, lived experiences and realities of people living with mental ill health.

Redacted Lives, a six-part documentary series by The Journal, won the Mental Health Content Digital prize at the awards ceremony yesterday.

The podcast tells the real story of mother and baby institutions in Ireland; from what happened within; to how the State continues to deny survivors access to information, proper redress and ownership of their true stories.

News Correspondent and presenter of the documentary Órla Ryan and Senior Media Producer and producer of the documentary Nicky Ryan said: “We’re delighted that Redacted Lives was recognised at Headline’s Mental Health Media Awards. There was incredible work in this category and it’s an honour to win.

The series explores the intergenerational trauma felt by so many families in Ireland due to the fact one or more members spent time in an institution.

“We’d like to dedicate this award to everyone who trusted us with their story, none of this would be possible without them,” the pair said.

Órla standing at the podium giving an acceptance speech while attendees watch smiling. The Journal's News Correspondent Órla Ryan accepting the Mental Health Content Digital prize yesterday.
Source: The Journal

They added: “Healing – of individuals, families and society – can only begin when we talk about what happened. And now we are finally talking.”

The documentary is available to listen to here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

‘Mental health does not discriminate’

The Journal and Journal Media’s crowdfunded investigative platform Noteworthy also won the Mental Health Special Interest Award for their collaborative ‘Blind Justice’ investigation, a look into the inequality in Ireland’s justice system towards Travellers.

Editor of Noteworthy Maria Delaney said: “It was an honour to win this award with such a brilliant team of reporters – Michelle Hennessy and Martin Beanz Warde.

“Travellers are disproportionately represented in the prisoner population and told us of unfair treatment and poor mental health support, leaving those impacted feeling isolated and traumatised.

“As Warde stated in the award ceremony yesterday, mental health does not discriminate.

We would like to thank every Traveller, in particular Kathleen Wilde, who told us of their experiences for this investigation. This is your award.

Noteworthy, as a crowdfunded platform, could not highlight these injustices without your support. Please consider helping to fund our ongoing work here.”

Editor of The Journal Sinéad O’Carroll said: “We are delighted to have our work at The Journal recognised in this way by Headline.

“Our team of journalists know how vital it is to hear directly from people who are living with mental health challenges and to uncover the mental health impacts of traumas that have been inflicted or compounded by the State’s or society’s actions.

“That is exactly what Redacted Lives has done in bringing the survivors’ own words to the fore. We hope that the series continues to form a key part of Ireland’s understanding of what happened in mother and baby homes.

Blind Justice investigated current injustices in the prison system – from unfair treatment to overuse of protection regimes. It was one of a number of collaborations between The Journal and Noteworthy which focuses on the Traveller community in Ireland.

“It was important to work directly with Martin Beanz Warde throughout as his expertise and experience was invaluable to tell the truth of the matter.”

Maria holding the wooden award wearing a black and gold dress, with Nicola and Áine on either side. Nicola Byrne, CEO of Shine (left), and Áine O'Meara, Programme Manager at Headline (right), present the Mental Health Content Special Interest Award to Maria Delaney.
Source: Fennell Photography

O’Carroll added: “Projects like Redacted Lives and Blind Justice require time, understanding and monetary investment. Noteworthy is funded by its readers and listeners and so we are incredibly grateful to them for crowdfunding this project.

“Many of The Journal’s readers and listeners have also contributed financially to our mission to keep people well-informed and involved in the issues that are shaping Ireland. To them, we also say thank you – and we hope these types of awards highlight the value of their decisions.”

Find out how to support The Journal here.

If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article, you can reach out for support through the following helplines. These organisations also put people in touch with long-term supports:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email [email protected]
  • Text About It - text HELLO to 50808 (mental health issues)
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 1800 247 247 or text HELP to 51444 – (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)
   Search for Proposals