Last night, Prince Harry attended the Mind Media Awards, where he handed out awards to those who had run in this year’s London marathon for the mental health charity.
The media awards celebrate the best portrayals of mental health challenges in television drama and media reporting and online.
President Stephen Fry and ambassador Fearne Cotton were also in attendance, greeting Prince Harry as he arrived the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square.
Harry has recently been open about his own issues, stemming from the grief of losing his mother; he never dealt with the loss until a couple of years ago. Following this revelation, Mind have seen a 40% increase in calls.
“I wanted to come here tonight to say thank you,” he told guests, including Harry Judd, Frankie Bridge and Lorraine Kelly.
“At the beginning of the year, William, Catherine and I believed that the country was on the cusp of something special. We noticed that after decades of hard work from dedicated campaigners, people seemed ready for a different kind of conversation on mental health.
“Everyone was tired of stigma and scare stories around mental illness. And they were frustrated that it was always being written up in a negative way. They saw that their children were emotionally open in new ways that seemed positive and empowering,” Harry explained.
‘I wanted to come here tonight to say thank you…We are now shattering the silence that was a barrier to change. I would especially like to thank the people who were brave enough to share their personal stories with the public’- Prince Harry at #VMGMindAwards pic.twitter.com/CHUd0lh3ls
— Mind (@MindCharity) November 13, 2017
“Finally, we were all beginning to grasp that mental fitness was an issue worth talking about, for every one of us.
“In classrooms, in workplaces, around the dinner table, between friends, and even between strangers, people are now really talking about their own wellbeing and how to help those around us.
“And while just talking doesn’t cure all ills, we are now shattering the silence that was a real barrier to progress,” he said.
“We are grateful that so many in the media got behind the Heads Together campaign – you helped make it the success it has been. But the biggest thanks has to go to the British public. You embraced it, you engaged with it and you normalised it.”
Stephen Fry said that 2017 had been a ‘remarkable, perhaps breakthrough year for mental health awareness’ thanks to support from William, Kate and Harry.
The former army captain presented a special ‘Speaking Out’ award to the stars of BBC documentary ‘Mind Over Marathon’, which told the stories of 10 people who trained to run in this year’s London Marathon – the mental health marathon – to help themselves overcome mental health problems. Participants included Bryony Gordon, who conducted the revealing interview with Prince Harry.
Harry hugged each of the 10 runners before presenting them with individual medals.
Awards included the Entertainment prize, which went to the BBC Three short series ‘The Things Not to Say’; Student Journalist Robin Brinkworth won an award for his work covering the ranking of UK University mental health services; and Constrction News won the publication award, for launching the Mind Matters campaign when it was discovered male construction workers are at the highest risk of suicide. ‘Me and my Mental Illness’ on Channel 5 won the documentary award for ‘an unflinching and personal account of seven people living with mental health issues’.